Alton Claire Byers


Alton C. Byers, Ph.D. is a mountain geographer, conservationist, and mountaineer specializing in applied research, high altitude ecosystems, climate change, glacier hazards, and integrated conservation and development programs. He received both his B.A. (1975) and doctorate (1987) from the University of Colorado, the latter focusing on landscape change, soil erosion, and vegetation dynamics in the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Nepal. He joined The Mountain Institute (TMI) in 1990 as Environmental Advisor, and over the next 25 years worked as Co-Manager of the Makalu-Barun National Park (Nepal Programs), Founder and Director of Andean Programs, Director of Appalachian Programs, and Director of Science and Exploration. In 2015 he joined the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at the University of Colorado at Boulder as Senior Research Scientist and Faculty, and currently works on a range of research, writing, and teaching projects in the Himalayas, Andes, Appalachian, and Rocky Mountains

In 2016 he received a Fulbright Specialist award to teach mountain geography at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He currently spends between three and six months per year conducting field work in remote mountain regions of the world, dividing the remaining time between writing, mountain walking, and organic gardening. Dr. Byers has published widely on a range of scientific and popular topics, and is an author and co-editor of Mountain Geography: Human and Physical Dimensions (University of California Press at Berkeley, 2013). His most recent book is titled Khumbu Since 1950, a unique collection of historic photographs of the Mount Everest region that he has replicated over the years. In April 2021, he was awarded the 2021-2022 Fulbright Nepal Research Award for continued work in alpine conservation and restoration work, to commence for a six-month period in June of 2022. During this period, he will be affiliated with Tribhuvan University Central Department of Geography.

Ajay Bhatt

Medical Sciences

My name is Ajay Bhatt.  I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.  After medical school, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia and completed my Residency in Emergency Medicine.  I have since moved to Honolulu, Hawaii and have had an interest in prehospital care, wound care, and medical education. Currently, I am affiliated with University of Hawaii at Manoa as Assistant Professor. I am the recipient of Fulbright Senior Scholar (2021-2022) and my host institution in Nepal is Dhulikhel Hospital, Kathmandu University.

Mohan Bahadur Dangi

Environmental Sciences

Mohan Bahadur Dangi is an American environmental engineer, science diplomat, and professor in the Department of Geography and City & Regional Planning at California State University (CSU), Fresno with a specialization in technical and social aspects of solid waste management (SWM) and engineering. Prof. Dangi is known best for his research on the management of municipal solid waste in low-income countries. He has successfully tested a combination of engineering and social science approaches to tackle a four-decade-long, ineffective endeavor in SWM in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Prof. Dangi’s work in curriculum development and capacity-building activities has produced eight memoranda of understanding between U.S. and Nepali universities as well as two engineering curricula in his native country of Nepal. He developed a life-changing study abroad course to the third pole, Cultural Landscape and Environmental Change in the Himalayas, which brings ten U.S. students to work with ten of their Nepali peers each year. Professor Dangi, a 2022 Embassy Science Fellowship awardee from the U.S. Department of State and a 2021-2022 Jefferson Science Fellowship winner from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, has been awarded numerous accolades and recognition for his work. For example, he is a 2021-2022 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Nepal from the U.S. Department of State and received the 2017-2018 Fulbright Specialist Award also from the U.S. Department of State. He was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar alternate to Nepal in 2020-2021. He was nominated for Steven K. Dentel AEESP Award for Global Outreach and is a two-time nominee for the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at CSU, Fresno. His students have received Standard Bearer of the College, multiple Most Outstanding Student Awards, and Best Poster Presentation Awards at state and international research presentations.

Professor Dangi earned his Ph.D. and MS in Geography and Environmental Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, both MSc in Environmental Science and Engineering and BSc in Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Refining with a minor in Asian Studies and International Politics from Colorado School of Mines, and AS in Physical Sciences with valedictorian from Central Wyoming College. He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists, Diplomate Water Resources Engineer (D.WRE) of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, and a licensed professional engineer (PE) in Colorado. He is an Associate Editor of the Waste Management & Research journal and serves on the Editorial Board of three other journals. Among the leadership, Professor Dangi chairs University Task Force on Climate Action and is a Faculty Advisor of the Nepalese Students Association at CSU, Fresno, and co-chairs Global Conference on Environment & Sustainability. He is a member of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors and the American Society of Civil Engineers. While in Nepal he will be affiliated with Tribhuvan University Central Department of Environmental Science.