Nepal: Geoscience in the Himalaya (Summer)

Educational Excursions

Following the initial orientation (approximately four days) in Kathmandu, students will spend approximately six weeks—the majority of the program—conducting Earth science fieldwork in the High Himalaya and Middle Hills regions of central and western Nepal.

Himalayan traverse
The program’s major excursion will be a traverse through a cross-section of the Himalaya along the Kali Gandaki River gorge.

The program will travel overland to the west of Kathmandu, passing through a varied portion of the Middle Hills of Nepal (south of the Himalayan peaks). After a short stay in the famous city of Pokhara on the banks of Lake Fewa, students and instructors will start the approximately two-and-a-half-week trek in the Kali Gandaki gorge. 

The Kali Gandaki River is an ancient river that dates from before the development of the Himalaya—more than 50 million years ago. It cuts between two of the highest peaks in the world—Annapurna and Dhaulagiri—creating one of the deepest gorges on Earth.

On the northward journey, up the gorge, students will develop classic geoscience field skills through analysis of the geologic history of the region as “read” in the exposed rocks.

During the southward return, the emphasis will switch to human-Earth interactions and geohazards, in the context of that region.

During the time in the Kali Gandaki, students will have opportunities to engage with Nepali residents from ethnically Tibetan cultures.

Middle Hills
After the Kali Gandaki trek, the program will spend time in the Middle Hills region of Nepal where students will conduct detailed geohazard analyses and learn about engineering geology and other risk-reduction solutions. The Middle Hills region is home to a diverse range of ethnic groups and Nepali subcultures, giving students further exposure to the societal diversity within this small Himalayan country.

Kathmandu Valley
The program will return to Kathmandu for a short period prior to the start of the student field study projects. Students will spend 10–12 days conducting individual or small-group field study projects within the Kathmandu Valley and other parts of the Middle Hills region of central Nepal. Final presentations and program wrap-up will be held in Kathmandu during the program’s final few days.


Costs Dates



Credits: 9

Duration: 7 weeks

Program Base: Kathmandu

Prerequisites: At least two upper division (above the 100-level) geoscience, environmental science, or physical geography courses. Read more...

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Summer 2013 Evaluations (PDF)


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