Program Director Alark Saxena has been accorded the 2018 Inspiring Yale Award. The Graduate and Professional Student Senate recognized Alark for his interdisciplinary work as associate research scientist and lecturer at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Joined by faculty representatives of the 13 graduate and professional schools at Yale, Alark received the award on April 11 at a well-attended event in Lei Zhang Auditorium of the School of Management.
Over the past decade, Prajjwal Panday has researched the complex interactions between land, water, human, and climate systems in the Hindu-Kush Himalayas (HKH). The region, which ranges across the river basins of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Mekong, and Yellow Rivers, pose a challenge for researchers to model effects of climate change on hydrology. On April 10, Panday gave a lecture as part of the YHI Spring 2018 Series drawing from his past and ongoing research.
Representing the Lutheran World Relief (LWR), Narayan Gyawali has worked with communities in India and Nepal to develop resilience to flooding-related disasters. Although the communities remain vulnerable and marginalized in political systems of the two nations, projects such as the Trans-boundary Resilience Project (TBR) are contributing to increased resilience and livelihoods of the local areas. Along with Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies graduate students Zach Garcia and Camilo Huneeus-Guzman, Narayan presented his development work for the YHI Spring 2018 series.
By: Amanda Mei
The Yale Himalaya Initiative is now an associate member of the Himalayan Universities Consortium (HUC) under the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). At the annual meeting of HUC on November 1, the consortium enabled YHI to join its research network. Induction of YHI in HUC has charted a path for similar university initiatives around the world to join the consortium.
Representing four different approaches to understanding the coupled human-environment systems of the Himalayas, graduate students Anwesha Dutta, Younten Phuntsho, Indra Acharja, and Catherine Schuetze joined the Yale Himalaya Initiative for a panel discussion on November 14. Anwesha Dutta spoke about the political economy of illegal timber extraction in Assam, India. Youngten Phuntsho discussed his work on the national forest inventory of Bhutan. Indra Acharja addressed bird conservation by the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature in Bhutan. Lastly, Catherine Schuetze overviewed the One Health policy for human, animal, and environmental health in Bhutan.
Conservationist Dekila Chungyalpa mobilizes communities to work on environmental projects in the Himalayas—with the help of religious leaders. Since Dekila began working towards inter-linking conservation and religion, she has become a proponent of cross-boundary partnerships between conservationists and religious institutions. On November 7, as part of the Yale Himalaya Initiative’s Fall 2017 seminar series, Dekila gave a lecture entitled “Cultivating Conservation and Community: Eco-Monastic Leadership in the Himalayas.”
Hosted by the Himalayan Students Association at Yale and supported by the Yale Himalaya Initiative, mountain climber Lhakpa Sherpa joined us for a reception and discussion of her life achievements. Lhakpa is the first Nepalese woman to successfully summit Mount Everest in the year 2000. She has since summited the 8,848-meter-high mountain eight times, more than any other woman in the world. Lhakpa along with her two daughters and son visited Yale for the first time on October 25.
Across the Himalayas, the Yarlung Tsangpo River runs from Tibet through the disputed borders of China and India. Ruth Gamble, a cultural and environmental historian of Tibet, spoke about the river as part of the Yale Himalaya Initiative’s Fall Reception on Oct. 11.
By: Amanda Mei
Pasang Yangjee Sherpa, an anthropologist from Nepal, joined the Yale Himalaya Initiative Tuesday evening for a discussion about climate change in her country. Interested in locals’ knowledge of and responses to the changing climate, Sherpa spoke about her research in the Humla district, as well as her previous work in the Everest district of Solukhumbu. She maintains a personal and professional interest in the region where “climate change in its multiple forms is still an everyday lived reality.”
By:Peter Jang - On Tuesday evening, Edward R. Cook, Director of the Tree-Ring Lab at Columbia University, presented his recent study on climate change in Bhutan and the greater Himalayas. With the help of Paul Krusic (Stockholm University) and local Bhutanese researchers, Professor Cook established a dendrochronological network comprised of twelve locations throughout Bhutan dating back to 2002.