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Greg Rohlf's Biography

My training as a historian was shaped by the three years I spent in China and Taiwan in the 1980s and 1990s.  My experiences on a tropical island, a fertile inland basin and on the arid highlands of the Chinese – Tibetan borderlands taught me how deeply history is rooted in local customs and stories. 

It’s fascinating how local conditions, milestones, heroes and villains create a distinctly local sense of the past and present.  Researchers must observe, ask questions and above all listen to all the diverse sources of local data to build a sound foundation for productive work.

During those years, my work in East Asia was primarily in education.  My first job was at a junior college in Sichuan province.  I completed my Ph.D. in History at the University of Iowa in 1999 and joined Pacific in 2001. 

During the summer, when not in East Asia for research or pleasure, you might find me swimming, biking or puttering around in the garden.  We camp at least once each year in the mountains and on the coast.  I also travel to Europe each year with my wife Gesine Gerhard and son Konrad and daughter Marlene.