I believe that The School for Field Studies gives its student a rare opportunity to immerse themselves and give back to the local community through the unique Directed Research (DR) component. During the DR part of the semester, students have the chance to conduct a research project that specifically relates to the local community’s environmental needs.
Due to each SFS research station’s unique long-term research plan, these projects can build off themselves year to year, ensuring that the research informs local stakeholders and helps them to create positive changes in the community.
Here in Bhutan, the students don’t only get to present to the local community, but they also get the opportunity to present to a much larger audience in the country’s capital of Thimphu.
The Directed Research aspect is such a strong feature of SFS that with the guidance of our professors and the help from local stakeholders, the students often produce very high quality reports which has allowed them to present back home, get published, or develop senior theses.
It's hard to pick one specific time that I've felt especially proud to be part of the SFS team, there are just too many! Seeing how much our students grow over their experience in Bhutan is always a very rewarding experience.
This usually culminates for me when I watch them present their Directed Research findings at the end of the semester. Dressed in traditional ghos and kiras, the students always impress me, not only with their research but also in the way that they present themselves.
The ease at which they can talk to the local people, dress in national dress, and discuss their research makes me proud to know that these students are a part of The School for Field Studies' community.