Semester

Himalayan Environment and Society in Transition

Bhutan

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About

Get into the field!

In Bhutan—a Himalayan country with towering mountains, lush forests, and a distinct cultural heritage—progress is measured not just by economic growth, but also through good governance, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation. Sustainable management of natural resources—including soil, water, biodiversity, and minerals—is critical for Bhutan, as these resources are fundamental to the national identity, as well as the local and national economies. Through their research, students contribute to the advancement of SFS’ joint research agenda with the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research (UWICER) and the Bhutan Ecological Society (BES) in areas including biodiversity and conservation, sustainable forestry, resource management, and development.

Trekking across valleys and ridges and through villages, students learn about culture, Buddhist philosophy, and environmental issues, and gain an intimate knowledge of the local ecosystems and rural livelihoods. Students develop skills in assessing environmental problems, defining research questions, conducting field research, and communicating results.
 

Language:
Coursework is taught in English
Credits:
18
Prerequisites:
One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science

Semester


Location

Paro - Bhutan


Fall 2017

August 28 - December 6

Closed

Spring 2018

January 29 - May 9

Open

Fall 2018

August 27 - December 5

Open


Sample Itinerary

Price

Tuition:

$18,000

Room & Board:

$6,995


?   Total Cost:

$24,995

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About

Academics

Bhutan SFS Web (27)

What You'll Study


  • Forest ecology and conservation
  • Community forest management
  • Land tenure and land-use changes
  • Valuation of natural resources
  • Geology and hydrology of mountain regions
  • Influence of Buddhist philosophy in conservation practices
  • Small-nation environmental governance
  • Drivers of rural-to-urban migration

What You'll Practice


  • GIS use and applications
  • Remote sensing
  • Biodiversity surveys
  • Species identification and distribution mapping
  • Quantitative & qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Survey design and interviewing techniques
  • Environmental-impact and protected-areas assessment
  • Scientific writing and oral presentation

Student Research Projects


  • Compare timber productivity in community forests and private forests
  • Assess the abundance and status of key economic species; perform baseline biodiversity analyses
  • Investigate the impact of roads on community forests and agrarian livelihoods
  • Determine how rural-to-urban migration impacts food security and nutrition across the country
  • Study the connections between land use and water quality
  • Examine the interest in and potential for payment for ecosystem services


LEARN MORE

Center for Himalayan Environment and Development Studies


Bhutan

Students attending this program will be based at the SFS Center for Himalayan Environment and Development Studies in Paro, Bhutan. Click here to find out more about the Center and life at the field station.

Amy Barkhouse

Amy Barkhouse

Admissions Manager
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