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Integrating Local Knowledge with Ecosystem Science to Understand the Causes and Consequences of Environmental Change in Tibet

Climate Change in Central Asia Lecture by Kelly Hopping (Stanford University)

Thursday, February 25, 2016
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall

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The Tibetan Plateau is experiencing rapid climate changes that will likely disrupt how its alpine ecosystems have functioned for millennia. Yet, much of the environmental degradation observed in Tibet to date has been attributed instead to pastoralists’ mismanagement of livestock, and regional policies attempting to prevent overgrazing have been enacted in response. Hopping will present findings from her work near Namtso Lake, in the central part of the Tibet Autonomous Region, PRC, where she sought to untangle the effects of climate and grazing on alpine meadows, and, in turn, on the pastoralists who depend on them for their livelihoods.


Kelly Hopping is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University. Her research examines how interacting aspects of global change affect ecosystems and livelihoods, with a focus on high elevation and pastoral regions. She received her PhD in Ecology from Colorado State University, where she studied the effects of climate change and livestock management policies on alpine meadows and herders in Tibet. She is also currently working on projects in Bhutan, Mongolia, and as part of the Mountain Sentinels collaborative network.

Photo by Kelly Hopping.

Sponsor(s): Program on Central Asia, Anthropology, Geography