David Griffiths Sox earned a Master of Arts in geography at University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) in 1972, with a lengthy thesis titled “Resource Use System of Ancient Champa”. The thesis reconstructed the economy of Champa, with chapters on prehistory and history, trade systems, agriculture and maritime technology, and hypothesized the central role of the temple in the Champa’s economy.
He later collected a large amount of information from U.S. and French libraries about Cham culture and the cultural landscape of Champa for a geography Ph.D. dissertation that was never completed. Since 1973, and especially after the advent of the internet, Sox has accumulted over 25 linear feet of Champa and related Vietnamese and Southeast Asian files.
Prior to graduate school, David took French as an undergraduate and intensive Vietnamese at the Army Language School in Monterey, after which he served in Vietnam for 30 months between 1965 and 1967. At UHM, he also was exposed to one semester of intensive Mandarin Chinese. Unfortunately, he does not understand Cham.
Sox is an independent and part-time scholar, and tries to keep in touch with Chamists all around the world, including Vietnam. He performed environmental impact assessment for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1975 to 1994 and the U.S. Coast Guard from 1995, retiring at the end of 2011 as Environmental Planning Program Manager for all Coast Guard units below headquarters. Also known as Che Sah Binu (or Chei Sah Bingu), David was a founding member of the Chamic Studies Group and has been an advisor to the California-based Champa Cultural Preservation Association of U.S.A., as well as other Champa-related associations for Cham Americans. He currently resides in Fairfield, California, U.S.A, and can be reached at email@example.com.
David plans to update his M.A. thesis with the idea of eventually publishing it. He is especially interested in Cham irrigation systems and sodalities, the origin of Champa rice, basket-hulled boats that are unique to Central Vietnam, temples not a monuments but as economic systems, and the material culture of the Cham.