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Effects of Global Climate Change on High-Altitude Agriculture, Ecosystem, and Environment Study (GCCHiaAEES) Program

Effects of Global Climate Change on agriculture, ecosystem, and environment are widespread from coastal areas to high elevation regions. Commonly cited climate change impacts in coastal regions include sea level rise, increased ocean water temperatures, inclement weather conditions, frequent incidences of intense rain events and flooding, and prolonged drought conditions. Similarly, high-altitude regions also currently experience multitudes of climate change impacts including rising in temperatures, early snowmelt, incidences of new diseases and pests on crops, erratic rain events, mass wasting, and drying of springs. Depending on the developmental stages of countries and available resources to combat climate change impacts, societies across the latitudes are adapting to climate change impacts in many different ways, often the resource-limited societies embracing adaptation measures in a very limited scale or adopting practices without adequate scientific validation process. In order to develop a comprehensive understanding of Global Climate Change impacts on agriculture, ecosystem, and environment across the latitudes it is critical for students, faculty, and researchers in the discipline of Environmental Science to get field exposures and gain first-hand knowledge in various aspects of climate change including impacts, exposures, and adaptation.

A landscape of Nuwakot district, Nepal (Photo: DD Poudel)

The Environmental Science Program in the School of Geoscience at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is organizing Study Abroad Internship program in Summer 2019 in which a group of undergraduate students will spend two weeks in the field in Nepal and get heavily engaged in first-hand and comprehensive understanding of Global Climate Change impacts on high-altitude environment. Nepal’s elevation ranges from below 200 m asl to 8,848 m asl at the peak of Mt. Everest. This program will provide an unsurpassed opportunity to our students, who are mostly from Louisiana, in gaining a comprehensive understanding of Global Climate Change issues. This will put them in a very favorable position in their future Global Climate Change mitigation and adaptation pursuits.

Students will examine and document the effects of climate change impacts on agriculture, water resources, wildlife, local communities, forest resources, and other ecological and environmental settings of the region. They will identify various climate change mitigation and adaptation measures implemented and will identify gaps between policy measures and ground realities. Students will complete their group projects, synthesize results, and present to local stakeholders. (For additional information, please contact Professor Durga D. Poudel at 337 482 6163 (office), email

Photo:A landscape of Nuwakot district, Nepal (by DD Poudel)