This January, thirteen Paul Smith’s College students are journeying to Nepal to study Community Forests, trek in the Annapurna Conservation Area, and explore the Chitwan National Park. Nepal is known throughout the world for its community forestry program, where villagers manage forest resources for their communal benefit. The purpose of this trip will be to be able to compare and contrast Nepali forestry and conservation practices with those they are familiar with in the USA while also exposing the students to the culture and natural beauty of Nepal. From the high peaks of the Adirondacks to the highest peaks of the world, this study trip has the potential to provide students with an expanded perspective on the world as they move out of their comfort zones and into that of someone else.

Learning Objectives:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Interpret, compare and contrast best practices, issues, challenges and opportunities arising from the Community Forestry program in Nepal.
    2. Analyze forest practices in a historic context to trace the origins and evolution of diverse cultural values, ethics and perspectives.
    3. Examine the Nepali approach to landscape management in terms of natural resource and community sustainability in different regions of Nepal.
    4. Directly experience the nature and culture of Nepal.

The Fundraising Dinner:

We would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to everyone that for your support on the Nepal Fundraising dinner. On Thursday October 20, the VIC was transformed into a Nepali teahouse, and over 100 guests, including 22 students that received tickets from “sponsor a student,” were treated to a Nepali experience with amazing food!  The main courses were prepared by the 13 students headed to Nepal in January, their professors Mel Johnson and Mike Rechlin, and lots of volunteers, including professors Saikat Chakraborty and Alex George, Lydia Wright and more! Chef Marlyse Waskiewicz and her students prepared fresh naan for everyone, and Hannah Pierson (junior in BASM) with Chef Amy DeWitt prepared a Nepali dessert buffet. We could not have pulled this off with SO MUCH help from volunteers including Carol Murtagh and Heather Tuttle (College Advancement), Kevin McCarthy and Amy Coddington-Burnett (Culinary and Business/Hospitality) and Greta Hovland (Sodexo). Apologies to anyone I forgot to mention- we had so many wonderful volunteers, and truly could not have done it without all of the help!

The funds will be split between helping our PSC students cover the cost of the trip, and helping to fund a cohort of Female Trekking Guides in Nepal through Empowering Women in Nepal, a Nepali non-profit organization that since 1999 is dedicated to empowering girls and women all over Nepal through adventure sports and tourism.  If you would still like to donate, simply use the “Donate Today” link on this page, specifying that it is for ”Nepal Fundraising” (you can add a comment if you prefer to donate explicitly to the students or to EWN).

Keep an eye out here for updates on the trip, including an upcoming blog for the trip! You can also follow us at Paul Smith’s College Forestry Department on Facebook and Instagram.

Special thanks to PSC student Ethan Billman with Rebel Productions for the creation of this video!

Additional Info

Questions?  Contact Mel Johnson

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