Alan and Christian received a Professor Roy F. Grow Fellowship to help fund their independent research.

two students stand besde a tent
Christian Heuchert’ 20 and Alan Zheng ’20 in a yak pasture

Our primary research goal was to explore the interaction between globalization and Tibetan nomad lifestyle/culture. We spent two weeks living in the tourist village Zhagana. Then we hiked for three days to reach the summer yak pasture and spent one week there. After we left the pasture, we explored various towns and cities in the Southern Gansu / Amdo Tibet region. We made three short films/videos to help conclude the experience.

Alan: One of the moments that I enjoyed most was living in the summer yak pasture with a local Tibetan family. It was incredible building relationships with them as we played Frisbee and chased yaks.

Christian: One of my favorite memories was learning about a special medicinal root, Yartsa Gunbu, or Caterpillar fungus. A caterpillar is slowly consumed by a fungus beneath the soil, and then the fungus/caterpillar sprouts a little stalk.