summer session I


Forests in the Land of the Thunder Dragon


This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Bhutan. Read more about the SFS program model.

Major academic themes include:

  • Mountain and forest ecology and conservation
  • Climate change
  • Geology and hydrology of mountain regions
  • Community forest management
  • Influence of Buddhist philosophy on conservation
  • Rural-urban migration
  • Agriculture and food security


In the Forests in the Land of the Thunder Dragon program, you will take one 6-credit course. This course is participatory in nature and is designed to foster inquiry and active learning combining lectures, field exercises, assignments, and tests. This course is taught in English.

Click on each course to view a description and download the syllabus

SFS 3580 Eastern Himalayan Forests and Biodiversity 6 credits

Core Skills

You will gain practical skills in the field such as: GIS and mapping, species identification and distribution mapping, forest and biodiversity surveys, camera trapping and mist netting, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and protected areas assessment.

Field Sites

You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include mountain ecosystems, subalpine conifer forests, alpine meadows, rural villages and small towns, subtropical broadleaf forests, high-altitude mountain passes, monasteries and sacred sites, and agricultural communities.

Where You'll Be Living

The Center is located at one end of the stunning Paro Valley, at the base of a towering ridgeline dotted with Buddhist monasteries. Campus is a small cluster of buildings designed in the traditional Bhutanese architectural style. A pleasant walk brings you to the markets, shops, and cultural events of Paro Town.

  • Dorm living in 2-4 student rooms
  • Classroom and dedicated student study spaces
  • Kitchen and dining hall, and on-site cooking staff
  • Student lounge and ping-pong tables
  • Verandas with scenic views of the valley
  • Hiking trails and local roads for running

Click on the icons below to learn more about our Center in Bhutan.