Tsering Bum

Cohort: 2016


  • BA, Anthropology, Reed College, 2012


I am broadly interested in the political ecology of environmental conservation, development, and “natural” resource usage on the Tibetan Plateau.

For my dissertation research, I aim to explore the conjunctures of Tibetan environmentalism and its interplay with state-initiated developmental and environmental initiatives. Locating my work in the pastoral areas of Kham and Amdo in Qinghai Province, western China, I take multisited ethnography as an approach to comprehend the ways space, personhood, nature-culture constructs, and livelihoods are (re)imagined and (re)produced when pastoral landscapes are transformed into nature reserves and national parks.

A large part of my academic career is concerned with making research “useful” for the communities I work with, I thus aspire to turn research into policy recommendations for the state policy makers and NGOs in Tibet. I hope that my work plays its small role in bridging dialogue and practical engagement between local communities and state institutions in terms of cultivating effective environmental and developmental programs.

Advisor: Dr. Little