Yale Himalaya Initiative

environment | livelihood | culture

People

Alumni

Agha Akram



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Sumana Serchan



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Sumana is a graduate of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her interest in the Himalaya is deeply rooted in her identity and ethnicity. Belonging to the Thakali, an ethnic group who have settled along the banks of the Kali Gandaki river in the Himalayan region of Nepal, her interest is in natural resources management in both rural and urban landscapes.

Researchers and Students

Noel Aloysius



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Noel is a PhD candidate at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His interests are in water and natural resource management and has been working with the Water Management Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Royal Government of Bhutan for the past two years on watershed assessment.

Priyankar Chand, B.A.



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Anthropology and Global Affairs

Priyankar Chand is from Kathmandu, Nepal and is Program Assistant to the Yale Himalaya Initiative. He is pursuing a double major in Global Affairs and Anthropology, and is also a Global Health Fellow. He is currently conducting research on sickle cell disease in the western-Terai of Nepal. 

Deepti Chatti, Ph.D.



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Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Deepti Chatti is a doctoral student at Yale University in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is interested in the interactions between environmental protection and poverty alleviation in developing countries. Her current research is focused on rural household energy transitions in India, particularly studying households moving from traditional biomass burning cookstoves to ‘improved’ technologies and fuels in Himachal Pradesh. She conducts interdisciplinary research, using her background in the natural sciences, and her current training in the social sciences, to better understand the drivers and context of energy decisions in rural India. She studied environmental engineering at Stanford University, and civil engineering at Osmania University. She worked for several years before starting her PhD at Yale; as an environmental engineer in the San Francisco Bay area, and most recently as a researcher and adjunct faculty at The Energy and Resources Institute, one of the leading environmental think tanks in India. 

Yong Cho, Ph.D.



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History of Art

Yong is interested in Tibeto-Mongol, Sino-Tibetan religious visual culture, material culture, East Asian Buddhist art and architecture; Religious and cultural pluralism in pre-modern Central Eurasia 

Luisa Cortesi



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A third Year PhD Anthropology and FES student, Luisa is interseted in the area defined by the rivers coming from the Himalaya towards the Ganga (particularly within the administrative boundaries of North Bihar). She is working on the area’s recurrent floods and connected historical ecosystem changes, its inhabitants’ understanding of their natural environment and its waters, and the significance of water within the complex socio-political and environmental landscape.

Sangay Dorji, M.E.M.



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Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Sangay specializes on Human Dimensions of Environmental Management with a particular focus on climate change adaptation. He is also interested in Religion and Ecology. Back in Bhutan, he works with the Department of Agriculture. 

Julia Famularo, Smith Richardson Foundation Predoctoral Fellow



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International Security Studies

In addition to her work at Yale as an ISS Fellow, Julia Famularo is a research affiliate at the Washington, D.C.-based Project 2049 Institute and a seventh-year doctoral candidate in modern East and Central Asian political history at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on Chinese Communist Party policies in ethnographic Tibet and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. 

Christopher Geissler, Ph.D.



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Linguistics

Christopher studies the phonetics-phonology interface (sound systems) and historical linguistics, particularly as they apply to Tibeto-Burman/Trans-Himalayan languages of the Himalayan region. He is also interested in the documentation and revitalization of endangered and less-studied languages, and have worked with Tibetan, Gurung, and Koro (spoken in Arunachal Pradesh) with communities in India and New York City. 

Anobha Gurung, Ph.D.



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Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Anobha Gurung is a Doctoral Candidate at FES. Her research focus is on air pollution in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. At present, Anobha is investigating the health effects of air pollution and looking into traffic exposures as they are one of the main sources of air pollution in the valley. Anobha is also looking at how seasons influence exposures to air pollution and is interested in working with both governmental and non-governmental organizations in creating awareness regarding the ill-effects of air pollution to human health.

Tiying Huang, Ph.D.



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East Asian Studies

Tiying used to study Tibetan kinship in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Now he is mainly interested in local political mechanisms and local political elites in the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

Amy Johnson, Ph.D.



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Anthropology and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Amy Leigh Johnson is a doctoral student in the combined degree program in Anthropology and Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her research studies Nepal’s move from a centralized Hindu monarchy to a federalist state, and the politics of environment informing the state restructuring process. 

Mohammad Aatish Khan, M.E.M.



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Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Mohammad Aatish Khan is a Fulbright Nehru Master’s Fellow 2014. He is focusing on the ‘application of advanced analytical approaches for understanding complexities and synergies between environment-development program design and policy implications in the developing countries’. He started his professional career as a volunteer working in the tribal areas of Bastar, CG. Since last five years in an International non-profit, he worked with government agencies, international bi-lateral and multi-lateral organizations and private firms on more than 30 thematically diverse projects focusing on natural resources, climate change, poverty alleviation, governance, Gender, REDD plus and development. Prior to Yale, he studied MBA in Environmental Management from Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal and Bachelors of Engineering in Electronics and Communications from Rajiv Gandhi Tech. University, India.  

Tara Meyer, M.E.Sc.



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Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

For her master’s research Tara carried out a camera and DNA-based study aimed at documenting snow leopards for the first time in western Tajikistan and examining the genetic connectivity of snow leopards in the region. She also conducted interviews with hunters, shepherds, and community leaders to examine the socio-economic and cultural context for carnivore conservation and administered surveys on human-wildlife conflicts in the region to quantify livestock depredation losses to wild carnivores. She will use these results to evaluate current wildlife management practices and make recommendations for improvements to my partners in Tajikistan (Panthera and the Tajikistan Academy of Sciences).

Luke Wagner, Ph.D.



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Sociology

Luke is a PhD candidate in the department of Sociology. He is broadly interested in the forms and formations of democratic cultures and in the role of religion in state-formation and political transition. His dissertation research is focused on contemporary debates about secularism in Nepal.

Peter Woods, M.A.R.



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Asian Religions

Peter’s work at Yale has focused on the construction of sacred place, biography, and ritual and material culture in the Himalaya and Tibet. He also studies Sanskrit and Classical Tibetan language and continue to hone my skills in the translation of Tibetan Buddhist literature.

Affiliated Faculty

Robert Bailis


Assoc Prof Sch of For & Env Stu
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Phone: 203-432-5412
Location: 205 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-2106

Rob Bailis is an Associate Professor at F&ES with research interests in sustainability, resource use, and environmental change in the developing world. His recent research has explored the social and environmental sustainability of novel biofuel crops such as Jatropha curcas and Salicornia bigelovii in Brazil, India and Mexico. He also supervises doctoral students researching a range of related topics including climate change adaptation in forest-dependent communities India, indigenous opposition to petroleum concessions in Peru, and benefit flows in carbon offset markets.

Graeme Berlyn


E H Harriman Prof of Forest Mgmt, Ed J Sustainable Forestry, Physiology of Trees Sch For & Env Stu
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Phone: 203-432-5142
Location: 205 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-2106

Graeme Berlyn is the Professor of Forest Management and Tree Physiology at F&ES. Professor Berlyn’s interests includes the morphology and physiology of trees and forests in relation to environmental stress. He has been working closely with CEDAR (Central Himalayan Environment, Development and Research) in India on growth and stress resistance enhancer for use by villagers to increase growth and stress resistance of crops and trees.

William Boos


Asst Prof Geology & Geophysics
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Location: 210 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT 06511-8902

William Burch


Prof Emeritus Sch of For & Env Stu; Sr Rsrch Scientist Sch of For & Env Stu
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Phone: 203-432-5119
Location: 205 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-2106

William Burch has held research and management positions with the USDA Forest Service, USAID, and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. His work on wildland recreation behavior was among the earliest, and it has expanded to include parks, biosphere reserves, and ecotourist regions in rural and urban areas in Asia, South America, and Europe, as well as in North America. He has worked extensively on protected areas in Nepal and Bhutan, conducted some of the original work on community/social forestry systems and institutional development including technical training and higher education curriculum development in South and Southeast Asia.

Sarah Calhoun


Asst Curator for South Asia Coll
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Phone: 203-432-7795

Michael Dove


Margaret K Musser Prof of Social Ecology Sch of For & Env Stu, Prof Anthropology; Dep Dir Climate & Energy Inst, Curator Peabody Museum
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Phone: 203-432-3463
Location: 205 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-2106

Michael Dove is an ecological anthropologist with over twelve years of field experience in Indonesia and Pakistan with the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, the East-West Center, USAID, Stanford University, and the Winrock Institute. Professor Dove has spent time in the field in Asia, carrying out long-term research on human ecology in Borneo and Java, developing government research capacity in Indonesia, and advising the Pakistan Forest Service on social forestry policies.

Durland Fish


Prof of Epidemiology Epid/Pub Health and Sch of For & Env Stu
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Phone: 203-785-3525
Location: 60 College St, New Haven, CT 06510-3210

Phyllis Granoff


Lex Hixon Prof of World Religions
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Phone: 203-432-0837
Location: 451 College St, New Haven, CT 06511-8906

Phyllis Granoff has done research in all of the classical religions of India–Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and has also published articles on Indian art and literature. Her interests include contemporary Indian literature and she has published translations of short stories from Bengali and Oriya. Professor Granoff’s current research includes work on the origins of puranic Hinduism and the development of image worship in Indian religions, a study of pilgrimage in medieval India, particularly in Jainism, and a study of a medieval Indian dramatist and poetic theorist. She is also working on Jain and Buddhist monastic rules and systems of authority in medieval Indian law codes.

Maung Moe Myint


Rsrch Sci/Scholar Sch of For & Env Stu
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Location: 205 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-2106

Maung Moe Myint is a F&ES alum with extensive experience in working with governments, international non governmental and academic institutions in Bhutan, China, and Nepal. His recent work includes Development of Soil Database Software to store the Physical, Chemical and Biological attributes of Soil, the design and planning of the National Forest Inventory of Bhutan, Updating Land use, Land Cover and Forest Types of Bhutan using Remote Sensing Data, developing the Design Strategy of Multi User Institutional Level Geographic Information System and Geo-database for Ministry of Agriculture of Bhutan and conducting the Geo-statistical Workshop for Mapping of Soil Properties.

Chadwick Oliver


Pinchot Prof of For & Env Stu, Dir Global Institute of Sustainable Forests
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Phone: 203-432-7409
Location: 205 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-2106

Chad Oliver’s initial research focused on the basic understanding of how forests develop and how silviculture can be applied to ecological systems most effectively. He has continued this work; during the past decade he has also examined how this understanding can help resolve scientific, technical, and management issues at the landscape and policy levels. He is currently working on landscape approaches to forest management and is involved in the technical tools, the policies, the management approaches, and the educational needs. Professor Oliver has considerable experience advising public and private forest resource organizations in the United States and abroad. His work has taken him to all parts of the world including Asia.

Catherine Panter-Brick


Prof Anthropology, Health & Global Affairs and School of Public Health
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Phone: 203-645-0164
Location: 10 Sachem St, New Haven, CT 06511-3707

Lhakpa Sherpa



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Koichi Shinohara


Sr Lecturer Religious Studies and East Asian Lang/Lit
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Phone: 203-432-0839
Location: 451 College St, New Haven, CT 06511-8906

Mary Tyrrell


Exec Dir Global Inst Sustainable Forestry
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Phone: 203-432-5983
Location: 205 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-2106

Mary Tyrrell is a graduate of F&ES and is affiliated with the Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry at Yale. GISF is currently undertaking a project in Nepal to look at sustainable tourism management of the Sagarmatha National Park and Buffer Zone and mid-career training program for the Indian Forest Service.

Nadine Unger



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Nadine Unger is Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Dr. Unger applies numerical modeling and integrated studies to advance understanding of interactions between atmospheric chemistry and climate. The goal is to support effective decision-making and the development of smart climate policy.  Dr. Unger is interested in atmospheric aerosols from human and natural sources and their impact on climate change in the Himalayan region.

Melanie Yiengpruksawan


DUS & Prof History of Art
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Phone: 203-432-2682
Location: 190 York St, New Haven, CT 06511
Steering Committee
Peter Crane's picture

Peter Crane


Prof Sch of For & Env Stu; Carl W Knobloch Jr Dean Sch of Forestry & Environ Studies; Prof Ecology/Evolutionary Bio and Geology & Geophysics; Curator Peabody Museum
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Phone: 203-432-5109
Location: 205 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-2106

Peter Crane is the Dean at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a specialist in plant diversity and conservation. Dean Crane has held many prestigious positions before coming to Yale and was knighted in the UK for his services to horticulture and conservation in 2004. As a member of the Steering Committee, Dean Crane hopes to work with others across the University to encourage productive research on environments, livelihoods and culture in the Himalayan region and engage F&ES alumni in a region where our School has a long history of collaboration and interaction.

Sir Peter Crane has been reappointed dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies for a five-year term beginning July 1, 2014. He recently published a new book titled “Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot”.

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Timothy Gregoire


JP Weyerhaeuser Jr Prof Forest Mgmt Sch of For & Env Studies
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Phone: 203-432-9398
Location: 205 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-2106

Tim Gregoire is Professor of Forest Management at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He has extensive experience in the Himalayan region. At present, Tim Gregoire is working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests of the Royal Government of Bhutan to plan and implement a National Forest Inventory. Prof. Gregoire has worked in partnership with the Ugyen Wangchuk Institute for Conservation & Environment, the College of Natural Resources, the Royal Thimphu College, and from the NGO sector, the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu.

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Kaveh Khoshnood


Associate Professor School of Public Health
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Phone: 203-785-2920
Location: 60 College St, New Haven, CT 06510-3210

Dr. Khoshnood is trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist and his primary research interests are the epidemiology, prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis among drug users, prisoners and other at risk populations in United States and in resource-poor countries. Dr. Khoshnood’s other interests are the examination of the links among health, human rights and violent conflict and ethical dilemmas in research involving vulnerable populations. Dr. Khoshnood conducts research in U.S, China and Middle East and teaches courses on HIV/AIDS, global health and research methods and ethics.

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Andrew Quintman


Asst Prof Religious Studies
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Phone: 203-432-2068
Location: 451 College St, New Haven, CT 06511-8906

Andrew Quintman is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and specializes in the Buddhist traditions of Tibet and the Himalaya. Andrew’s interests include Buddhist literature and sacred biography, visual and ritual cultures of the wider Himalayan region, and the esoteric Buddhist traditions of Tantra in Tibet. Andrew is the co-chair of the Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group at the American Academy of Religion, and co-leading a five-year AAR seminar on Religion and the Literary in Tibet.

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Alark Saxena



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Alark Saxena is the Program Director of Yale Himalaya Initiative and a Lecturer at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  Alark is a social-ecologist who is interested in questions associated to sustainability, resilience and livelihood using a systems approach.  His current research is focused in India and Nepal. In India, Alark is developing a complex model to evaluate livelihood resilience of forest based communities. Within Himalayas, Alark is modeling the impacts of tourism on local livelihood and culture in the Sagarmatha National park, Nepal. Himalayas have been a part of Alark’s life since his teenage days. In his new positon Alark looks forward to strengthening old and forging new relationships between Yale and the Himalayan region. 

Rajesh Thadani's picture

Rajesh Thadani


Alumni Representative to the YHI Steering Committee
Email
Phone: 203-432-5104

Rajesh Thadani did his MFS and Ph.D at the School of Forestry and Environmental studies. Rajesh is a forest ecologist who works on the oak-pine ecosystem in the central Himalaya. He is particularly interested in the impacts of human induced disturbance on this ecosystem and is also working on issues related to ecosystem services and climate change. 

Thadani has worked extensively in the development sector and was the Executive Director of CHIRAG (1999-2004), one of the largest grassroots NGOs in the Indian Himalaya.  He is currently the Executive Director of the Center for Ecology Development and Research (CEDAR)—a research based NGO—and an Advisor to the Sir Ratan Tata Trust, a prominent Indian philanthropic organization.  He is currently working with NGOs both in the eastern and western Himalaya.  Rajesh is also a director at the Carbon Disclosure Project India, a company that aims to accelerate unified action on climate change, and is the Managing Director of a manufacturing company in the FMCG sector.

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Mary Evelyn Tucker


Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University
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Email
Phone: 203-436-5825
Location: 205 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-2106

Mary Evelyn Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University where she teaches in a joint master’s degree program between the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Divinity School. She directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with her husband, John Grim.

Her special area of study is Asian religions. She has lived in Japan for several years and received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in Japanese Confucianism. Since 1997 she has been a Research Associate at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard. Her Confucian publications include: Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism (SUNY, 1989) and The Philosophy of Qi (Columbia University Press, 2007). She edited two volumes on Confucian Spirituality (Crossroad, 2003, 2004) with the renowned Confucian scholar, Tu Weiming.