Sustainability Fellow: Yuko in Paro, Bhutan

Yuko standing with mountains and blue sky in background

Hi, kuzuzangpo-la, and welcome to my Bio! My name is Yuko Nakano and I’m in Paro, Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon and a country where the spirit governs the land. More on that in future posts.

I’m a junior at Amherst College, and I am pursuing an environmental studies major and an international relations certificate through the five-colleges. Interdisciplinary is a concept I resonate with in and out of the classroom. In the grand valleys and mountains of this region, I’ll be studying how conservation efforts are related to spirituality, ecology, and politics. Along the way I have the extraordinary privilege of witnessing and contributing to the effects of tourism on the people and environment here, and I hope to explore that relationship even further throughout this blog. 

Yuko’s Posts

  • Intro: Economic and Ecological Sustainability in Bhutan

    Intro: Economic and Ecological Sustainability in Bhutan

    Landing in Bhutan, a country with one airport and the Buddhist spirit of interconnectedness weaved throughout, I felt the cool air try to penetrate my nose, my ears, my mouth. I took one deep breath in and closed my eyes for a second. It was coming, the inexplicable twitching of my eyes every time I step into a place I’ve never seen before. The Himalayas loomed over me, us, and in the midst of Oohs and Aahs escaping my lips, …
  • Realities of Bhutan’s Economy

    Realities of Bhutan’s Economy

    A massive Himalayan griffon vulture flew overhead as I and the rest of the students combed the ground for insects to study. It landed behind a cow shed, and we ran over to see what it was feeding on. As we approached, the griffon took notice and flew away, leaving only the sound of her flapping wings in her wake. Where the griffon once stood, a giant cow carcass the size of a small vehicle lay in a lifeless heap. …
  • Biases within Directed Research

    Biases within Directed Research

    One of my professors mentioned the importance of knowing one’s position in their environment. Throughout our time in Bhutan, the group of students I studied with discussed this at length. One of the questions we tried to answer was that of whether or not we were tourists. We never reached a solid conclusion, partly because of time, but many of the students fell into one of the two categories: 1) yes, we are, because three and a half months is …
  • Final Analysis and My Carbon Footprint

    Final Analysis and My Carbon Footprint

    Final Analysis What marked the beginning of my journey in Bhutan was a 250-page book, entitled Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society. In one of the last emails we received before leaving our usual posts as college students in the U.S., our upcoming professor recommended us to read this book. Far from my usual choice of books, this one was written by one of the current Karmapas (a leader of a Tibetan Buddhist School), Ogyen Trinley Dorje. Through no …

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.