Nepal: Geoscience in the Himalaya (Summer)

Faculty and Staff

Beth Pratt-Sitaula

Beth Pratt-Sitaula, PhD, Academic Director
Beth Pratt-Sitaula received her PhD in geosciences from the University of California Santa Barbara (2005) and subsequently worked as both a university faculty member and Earth science education specialist. Beth has worked on geoscience and education projects in Nepal since 2000. Her geoscience research has focused on the intersection between plate tectonic movements from below and climate forcing from above to give us the dynamic Earth surface we witness with changing river, hill slope, and glacial processes. Since 2008 she has worked in partnership with Tribhuvan University faculty to install and maintain a global position system (GPS) station network in central Nepal to help monitor Earth-surface movements and better understand earthquake hazard for the region. She has led summer programs for MS students and science teachers to study interdisciplinary watershed issues in the Annapurna region of Nepal. One of her particular passions is helping people understand geohazards and how societies can combine sustainable development with risk reduction. She has co-led programs for Washington and Oregon teachers to help them better understand earthquake/tsunami hazards and mitigation strategies, and she has taught about Himalayan geology and earthquake risk reduction in Kathmandu schools. She lives in Colorado but travels frequently to Nepal for research and to visit family.

In addition to SIT faculty, program lecturers and resources — including field study project advisors — will be drawn from Tribhuvan University, Nepal’s national university, and other in-country institutions such as:

Bishal Nath Upreti, PhD

Bishal Nath Upreti, PhD
Dr. Upreti has a broad background in many aspects of structural geology, Himalayan tectonics, engineering geology, and geohazards. He received his PhD in geology from the University of Baroda, India, in 1980. He has been a faculty member at Tribhuvan University for over 30 years; he has served as head of the Tri-Chandra and Kirtipur Geology departments as well as dean of the Institute of Science and Technology. During this time, he has greatly developed the geology programs at Tribhuvan University and has helped to establish and run field camp programs. He has collaborated extensively with geoscience researchers from around the globe and has been a visiting researcher at institutions in India, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, Ethiopia, and Zambia. In addition to producing numerous research publications on Himalayan tectonics and structures, Bishal has worked extensively to raise awareness about Nepal’s geohazards through public education and reports regarding earthquake and landslide hazards. He has coauthored two geology guidebooks for Himalayan trekkers.

Ranjan Kumar Dahal, PhD

Ranjan Kumar Dahal, PhD
Ranjan is an engineering geologist who specializes in geohazard reduction. He received his PhD in geotechnical engineering from Kagawa University, Japan, in 2009 and received the best engineering research award the same year. His research has included studies of landslides, debris flows, earthquake hazards, engineering geology, geomorphology, landslide simulation, disaster management, disaster education, foundation analysis, and engineering geology of roads and dams. He is particularly passionate about exploring the use of new technologies and innovation to increase sustainable development and environmental standards in Himalayan countries. Most recently he authored the most comprehensive available report on the Seti River debris flow disaster that claimed more than 40 lives in the spring of 2012. He has also written the book Geology for Technical Students.  He works as a faculty member of the geology department at Tribhuvan University’s Tri-Chandra campus and lives with his family in Kathmandu. During the 2012–13 academic year, he was a visiting scholar at Kagawa University in Japan.


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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