Where Have All the Yaks Gone?

Friday, May 20, 2011 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Saturday, May 21, 2011 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
promotional flyer for Where Have all the Yaks Gone? at Trace Foundation

The grasslands are changing. Across the Tibetan Plateau, desertification, biodiversity loss, and ecological relocations are dramatically altering the landscape and reshaping Tibetan society. What’s happening on the grasslands today poses unprecedented challenges to Tibetan communities and will have a profound impact on them far into the future. Join us on Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, for the first event in our second lecture series, Visions of Development, as we explore the state of the plateau’s grasslands, and it’s bearing upon the future of Tibetan communities.

Visions of Development brings together speakers from a wide array of professional and academic backgrounds to explore the effects of diverse development strategies being deployed around the world on local communities. Through lectures and panel discussions, Visions of Development will examine the global process of development, with a special comparative emphasis on the Tibetan case.

Hong Jiang

Assistant Professor

Department of Geography, University of Hawaii-Manoa

Hong Jiang is an associate professor of geography at University of Hawaii whose work deals with environment and development issues in China, linking landscape change with attitudes toward nature, changing cultural practices, and state policy discourses regarding the environment. She has done extensive research in Inner Mongolia, a minority region in China, where she explored history of grassland transformation, cultural change, and government policies. Her current project critically examines North China Afforestation (the Great Green Wall) program.

Julia Klein

Assistant Professor

Department of Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Stewardship, Colorado State University

Julia Klein is an assistant professor of the Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Watershed Stewardship at Colorado State University. She obtained her PhD in grassland management at University of California–Berkeley. She has been involved in environmental conservation efforts on the Tibetan plateau. Her research investigates interactions among climate, land use, and the structure and function of grassland, shrubland, and alpine ecosystems. She employs a suite of research tools, including experimental manipulations, space-for-time sampling, and ecosystem modeling. Her work considers multiple scales, from species-level investigations to landscape-scale processes. She works across disciplines to understand the complex dynamics of the coupled human-environment system in rangeland regions of the world.


PhD Candidate

Department of Geography, University of Colorado–Boulder

Kabzung is a PhD candidate at the University of Colorado–Boulder. In collaboration with his studies, Kubzang has conducted extensive field research in association with The Bridge Fund, Jiu Zhai Gou Nature Reserve, the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development, and the Chengdu Institute of Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research is focused on grasslands management, rural development, and poverty alleviation in Chengdu, Sichuan. He is currently earning his PhD in geography.

Kanako Kodama

Associate Professor

Department of Eurasian Studies, Chiba University

Kanako Kodama is an associate professor of Eurasian Languages and Cultures at the Faculty of Letters, Chiba University, Japan. Her research focuses on environmental and cultural changes over the past sixty years in Inner Mongolia, China. Currently she is researching the urbanization of Mongolian pastoralists by the desertification and “ecological migration” and its reflection on societies and cultures. Major publications include “Groundwater Resource Crisis Caused by 'Ecological Migration,'" case studies of Mongolian pastoralists in Ejene Banner, and "Alasha League in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region” in Ecological migration: Environmental policy in China (2010).

Richard Harris

Associate Professor

Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, University of Montana

Richard Harris is an associate professor of the Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences at the University of Montana. He obtained his PhD in forestry at the University of Montana in 1993. He is the principal investigator of the National Science Foundation project “Determinants of Grassland Dynamics in Tibetan Highlands.” He consults on the studies of Przewalski’s gazelle in Qinghai with Beijing University. He is also investigating the response of Rocky Mountain goats to climate change. His publications include, “Determinants of Rangeland Dynamics on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China: Livestock, Wildlife and Pastoralism.”

Events take place at Trace Foundation’s headquarters in New York City’s West Village.
All events at Trace Foundation are open to the public.


132 Perry St., Suite 2B
New York, NY 10014
1 (212) 367-8490


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L/A/C/E to 8th Ave. – 14th

1 to Christopher St.
PATH to Christopher St.

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