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. …

Energy and Waste Management in Svalbard

Hi again! I’ve now been in Svalbard for a bit more than 3 months, so I’m just over halfway done with my time here. In the span of the last month there has been a major transition from no sun shining down in Longyearbyen, to now having sun during all hours. The weather is starting to get a bit warmer too, and we’ve had a nice string of completely blue-sky days. Life up North is pretty sweet! However, with all …

Waste Management in Germany: How Do People Know Where Everything Goes?

It’s an average evening. My partner and I have finished our dinner. He washes the dishes while I clean the table and eventually make my way down the three flights of stairs from my apartment to empty our trash cans. There are four cans and it takes me two trips to complete the task. First, I take the compostable bio-trash in its paper bag, and the “yellow-sack” recycling which consists of plastic and aluminum foil packaging. As I dump out …

Daily Life

I spent the last week getting over a cold, which meant lots of sleeping during the day and and some time spent at the chemist finding cold medicine in a whole new world of over-the-counter drugs.  I felt better on Sunday and took a ferry around Darling Harbour.  In Sydney, public transport costs $2.60 total on Sundays, so it’s a great day to explore.  Here is my photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (you can see the Opera House, too). …

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, …

Intro: Mülltrennung, Waste and Recycling System in Germany

Hello! I’m Bixie Eutsler, a third year Amherst student! I’m majoring in SWAGS and German, but I’m interested in a wide variety of topics including film and environmental protection. I am spending this school year abroad at Göttingen University in Germany. Amherst has a very interesting partnership with Göttingen in which every year two to four Amherst students study here. In return, two or more Göttingen students come to Amherst and act as our German language assistants. They also run …

First Impressions

It’s 75 degrees and sunny here in Sydney. March 1st was the first day of Autumn and I spent the afternoon at Bondi Beach avoiding surfers who strayed into the designated swimming section. I arrived two and a half weeks ago. What follows requires a bit of terminology: Uni: University, i.e. where one studies. Here, the University of Sydney, which is located in Camperdown, a suburb in Sydney’s Inner West. Photos of the quadrangle and parts of the law school …

Intro: Food Sustainability in the Arctic

2/15/2019 Hi! I’m Olivia, Class of ‘20 and I’m a Geology major from Bend, Oregon. This semester I’m studying at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, which is about halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. UNIS is focused exclusively on Arctic studies, and by definition the school cannot teach any courses that are taught on mainland Norway. This basically means that all of the courses incorporate a ton of field work, which …

Expectations and First Impressions

I would like to say that I arrived in Spain without fully-formed expectations, but that would not be entirely honest. Before arriving in Madrid I spent hours imagining what it would be like to walk down picturesque streets (such as the ones pictured below) and to eat traditional Spanish dishes like croquetas and paella. Once I decided to spend a semester in Spain, I began to feel a hunger: the need to make a checklist of “must-have” experiences that if …

Sustainability Fellow: Bixie in Göttingen, Germany

Mx. Bixie Eutsler is a writer, filmmaker, and all around creative type. They’re currently studying gender and feminist theory in the picturesque University town of Göttingen, Germany but will be returning to Amherst in the fall of 2019 to complete their SWAGS and German majors. For their role as a Global Sustainability Fellow they hope to learn more about Germany’s complex trash and recycling systems in the hope that similar concepts can be applied to Amherst.

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