summer session II


Big Cats of the Himalayas: Tracking and Conservation


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:

  • Big cat conservation challenges and approaches
  • Population assessment and species distribution ranges
  • Ecology of Himalayan mountains and forests
  • Climate change and impacts on conservation
  • Influence of Buddhist philosophy on conservation


In the Big Cats of the Himalayas: Tracking and Conservation program, you will take one 4-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 3191 Tracking and Conservation of Big Cats in the Himalayas 4 credits

Core Skills

You will gain practical skills in the field such as: GIS, species identification and distribution mapping, biodiversity surveys, camera trapping and radio telemetry, species management planning, and quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis.

Field Skills

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.

A Summer with SFS!

Get more out of your SFS experience when you take back-to-back summer sessions. More time to explore, more time to learn, and more time to build practical skills. Each summer session focuses on a different topic, and you’ll have time to rest and reflect between sessions. Receive a $1,000 discount on your second session (effective for Summer 2020).

Forests in the Land of the Thunder Dragon (Bhutan Summer I)

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All program components are subject to change.

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