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.

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 & 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, tests, and a small research project. This course is taught in English.

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

SFS 3580 Eastern Himalayan Forests and Rural Livelihoods 6 credits

Core Skills

You will gain practical skills in the field such as: remote sensing and mapping, species identification and distribution mapping, biodiversity surveys, research design and implementation, camera trapping and mist netting, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, protected-areas assessment, and research presentation.

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.

All program components are subject to change.