Call for Applicants: ACMS Mongolia Field School 2022 - Interdisciplinary Summer Program

Natso Baatarkhuu's picture
Summer Program
March 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Environmental History / Studies, Literature, Music and Music History, Public Health, Religious Studies and Theology

Mongolia Field Study Opportunities return through 5 course offerings in summer 2022!

The Mongolia Field School will offer 5 courses in summer 2022 on-site in Mongolia examining key topics such as Climate Change, Buddhism, Public Health, Sustainable Mining, and the Literature and Music of Mongolia. These courses offered over 9-18 days in two summer sessions provide a unique educational travel opportunity led by international and Mongolian university faculty. The courses are open to a diverse range of participants, including undergraduate and graduate students, teachers and life-long learners, and offer an opportunity to experience learning and travel guided by academic experts in Ulaanbaatar and the beautiful Mongolian countryside. 

After the loss of the 2020 and 2021 Field School programs due to COVID travel restrictions, the ACMS is committed to provide a safe travel and learning experience for all participants during the 2022 Mongolia Field School. All participants must be fully vaccinated and abide by the travel rules and regulations of Mongolia. We will be closely monitoring conditions in Mongolia and globally, and will make appropriate adjustments to the program offering based on the best science and travel information available. All participants who applied to the 2020 Mongolia Field School before its cancelation will be able to follow an expedited application process and all previously awarded fellowships will be honored for the 2022 program.

All courses are offered in English and participants can gain academic credit if desired. Tuition costs include program travel and accommodations within Mongolia, most meals, instruction, and translation for on-site visits. Significant numbers of scholarships are available for participants through the financial support of the Henry Luce Foundation and other donors, and previously awarded scholarships for participants who were accepted to the 2020 Field School which was canceled due to COVID restrictions will be honored. Previous experience in Mongolia is not required for participation. Students may participate in one course per session, and all courses will start and end in Ulaanbaatar.

For Summer 2022, five courses will be held across two sessions outlined below.

Session 1 allows participants to choose between four courses: 

1. Word and Sound in Mongolian Culture (Dates: June 20-29; Tuition: $2500)
with Dr. Simon Wickhamsmith, Rutgers University; Dr. Sunmin Yoon, University of Delaware; and Dr. Alimaa Ayushjav, Institute of Language and Literature of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences

This course offers participants the opportunity to gain insights and exposure to the literary and musical forms and styles within Mongolian culture. Participants will visit sacred sites and participate in concerts and discussions with local musicians and writers to understand the context of both the rural lives of nomadic herders and of the urban literary and musical scene. 

2. Climate Change and Herding: Incontrovertible Warning Signs and Local Responses (Dates: June 20 - July 3; Tuition $2900)
with Dr. Annika Ericksen, Cultural Anthropologist; and Dr. B. Batbuyan, Center for Nomadic Pastoralism Studies

Participants will have the opportunity to explore how climate change is impacting rural Mongolia and traditional lifestyles through visits to rural sites and interviews with herders and local environmental management professionals. Social, political and economic forces will be explored to better understand how local communities are working to adapt to a changing environment.

3. Mongolian Buddhism, Nature, and Conservation (Dates: June 20 - July 7; Tuition $2900)
with Dr. Betsy Gaines Quammen, Environmental Historian; and Rebecca Watters, Director of the Wolverine Foundation

This course will focus on the intersection between Mongolian Buddhism, Shamanism, nature ethics and environmental conservation. Participants will cover the history and philosophy of Mongolian Buddhism, and explore Buddhist influences upon current directions in ecological thought and practice in Mongolia, especially in confronting wildlife poaching, climate change and sustainability. 

4. Climate Change and Public Health: What does climate change mean for the people of Mongolia? (June 20 - July 7; Tuition $2900)
with Susan Higgins, Center for American Indian and Rural Health Equity; and Cathy Whitlock, Montana State University, Bozeman

Against the backdrop of the Mongolian landscape and the COVID pandemic, participants will explore firsthand how climate change is impacting public health in urban environments and rural communities through short lectures, readings, site visits and conversations. Comparisons will be made to public health delivery in rural communities in Montana, with a focus on Native American communities and health initiatives.

Session 2 offers participants the following course: 

5. Environment, Humans, and Mining in Northern Mongolia (July 25 - August 12; Tuition $2900)
with Gantulga Bayasgalan, Mongolian University of Science & Technology; Marissa Smith, Cultural Anthropologist; and Rebecca Watters, Wolverine Foundation.

This course focuses on the intersections of “modern” (scientific and engineering) as well as “traditional” (including Buddhist and shamanic) knowledge and knowledge practices on human-environment relations through the context of mining activities in the Northern regions of Mongolia.  


Participants may choose one course in each session. All courses are open to participants of any nationality and background, with past participants ranging in age from 18-80. The priority deadline for applications is March 1, 2022, and the final program application deadline is April 30, 2022.

Tuition costs for international participants covers program and accommodation costs in Mongolia, most meals, transportation within the country, instruction and site visits. A significant number of scholarships are available for all participants through the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation and other donors.

Contact Info: 

Natso Baatarkhuu
U.S. Director
American Center for Mongolian Studies

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