Nepal - Instructors

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Nepal—Community, Technology, and Sustainability

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Nancy Erbstein 

Nancy Erbstein is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Human Ecology. Her own undergraduate study abroad experience in Nepal led her to pursue a second major in South Asian Studies and several years of work there. Her experience laid the foundation for her subsequent research and practice promoting youth civic engagement among typically under-represented populations. Having focused much of her more recent career on California youth well-being, she is thrilled to again pursue collaboration with Nepalese youth, NGOs and researchers.

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Jonathan London 

Jonathan London is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Ecology/ Community and Regional Development. His research focuses on the impacts of environmental hazards on disadvantaged communities and the ways in which these communities organize to address these challenges. London’s study abroad experience in the Brazilian Amazon, early career work in Nepal, and current experiences in diverse California communities inspire him to create learning opportunities for students to explore intercultural, collaborative and solutions-oriented research.

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Deb Niemeier

Deb Niemeier is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Education. Her research focuses on the inter-relationships between air quality, transportation and the built environment, including identifying and modeling environmental health disparities and improving understanding of formal and informal governance processes in urban settings. She has worked globally for more than 20 years in Africa and East Asia. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a Guggenheim Fellow for foundational work on pro bono service in engineering and in 2017, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

A Message to Students and Parents

International and intercultural learning was foundational for all of our academic and professional careers.

All of us have spent many years working globally. Through this work, we have come to appreciate the importance learn to collaborate across cultures, and even across disciplines. We believe in drawing upon local insights and support efforts to build local leadership to make a positive, sustainable and equitable impact in communities. These are the principles to which we have devoted our careers as researchers and educators.

We are so pleased to help create opportunities for students to develop their cultural skills and technical capacities early in their own academic careers. We are excited to offer students a unique intercultural learning experience as they join with Nepalese university students on collaborative service-learning projects. Nepal is an ideal place for building these intercultural skills. It represents a unique combination of diverse and ancient civilizations together with a rising generation of young adults who are committed to finding innovative solutions to economic, political, social, and environmental challenges and who use social media and international travel to engage with peers around the world. We are thrilled to introduce UC Davis students to this vibrant culture through hands-on learning with their Nepalese peers.