Emily Yeh photo portrait
Department Chair • Professor of Geography • Nature/society geography; political ecology; cultural politics; development; Tibet; China • Associate Faculty of CAS • Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 2003
Human Geography • Environment-Society
303-492-8310, GUGG 108

Research Interests

My main research interests are on questions of power, political economy, and cultural politics in the nature-society relationship. Using primarily ethnographic methods, I have conducted research on property rights, natural resource conflicts, environmental history, development and landscape transformation, grassland management and environmental policies, and emerging environmentalisms in Tibetan areas of China. In addition, I have also worked on the politics of identity and race in the Tibetan diaspora, and on several NSF-funded interdisciplinary, collaborative projects on putative causes of rangeland degradation and vulnerability to climate change on the Tibetan Plateau. Broader research and teaching interests include transnational conservation, critical development studies, the relationship between nature, territory, and the nation, and environmental justice. My regional expertise is in China, Tibet, and the Himalayas.

More Info

Despite living in Colorado and doing research in Tibet, I love the ocean and try to scuba dive when I get the chance. Fortunately, I also enjoy biking and hiking and most of all, playing capoeira, a Brazilian martial art. Most of non-work time, though, is spent playing with my son Osel and daughter Seldron.


Recent Courses Include

  • Spring 2017  GEOG 5632 (3) Development Geography
  • Fall 2016  GEOG 6402 (3) Seminar: Political Ecology
  • Spring 2016  GEOG 5161-002 (3) Research Design in Human Geography

Selected Publications

Yeh, Emily T. and Chris Coggins, editors. (2014). Mapping Shangrila: Contested Landcapes in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands. University of Washington Press. 

Yeh, Emily T. (2013). Blazing pelts and burning passions: Nationalism, cultural politics and spectacular decommodification in Tibet. Journal of Asian Studies. 72(2): 319-334.

Yeh, Emily T. (2013). Taming Tibet: Landscape Transformation and the Gift of Chinese Development. Cornell University Press.

Yeh, Emily T. and Kunga T. Lama. (2013). Following the caterpillar fungus: Nature,commodity chains and the place of Tibet in China's uneven geographies. Social & Cultural Geography 14(3):318-340.

Yeh, Emily T. (2012). Transnational environmentalism and entanglements of sovereignty: The tiger campaign across the Himalayas. Political Geography 31:418-428.

Publications updated July 2013