Zhi Liu, 2017, China

A Multidisciplinary Approach: I never would have imagined that I would have a job related to natural sciences. In school, I was always passionate about subjects in foreign languages, ancient Chinese history, and politics, and did poorly in science. But upon graduation from Brown University with my MA in Slavic Languages and Literature, I got a job at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. There, I worked in their newly established international environmental science and policy program focusing on Tibet and surrounding regions in South and Central Asia. This work experience opened a new world for me. First attracted to the job by the opportunity to discover and explore Tibet – a region and culture that I have always been interested in – I gradually became more and more interested in the development issues there. Issues such as climate change, glacier retreat, and loss of biodiversity have long been monitored and studied from the perspectives of natural sciences. However, comprehensive assessments of the environmental issues and their impacts on human development in the region are still lacking. I feel that social sciences can play a vital part in delivering scientific results and addressing these issues. That is why I came to Fletcher to study environmental policy and development economics. I want to gain a trans-disciplinary perspective that can be applied to addressing both environmental and development issues.

On the Fletcher faculty: Before Fletcher, I never knew that math can be fun! I am taking Professor Klein's quantitative class in the first semester and he is such a great professor. He is knowledgeable and explains everything clearly. With his easy humor, even the learning of derivatives becomes fun! Professor Tanaka's Microeconomics course is also a great class. He focuses extensively on the application of economic theories and uses examples that are usually very easy to remember. Overall, I am very impressed by the charismatic Fletcher faculty.

Favorite book:

Pride and Prejudice

Favorite landmark:

Namco Lake in Tibet

Most pressing world issue:


Most memorable international experience:

5-month travel and volunteer experience in Central America

Best place to study:

Third floor of the Ginn Library

Fields of Study

Development Economics

International Environment & Resource Policy

Activities involved in at Fletcher

China Club

Education before Fletcher

MA, Slavic Studies, Brown University

BA, Russian Studies, Peking University

Experience before Fletcher

Program Manager - Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China