Wenjing Xu

Thursday May 17, 2018

Wenjing Xu



I was born in a major city of China during an era when everything was about “development”. I was only familiar with a metropolitan environment until a trip to the Tibetan plateau struck me strongly with its fascinating nature and culture. Since then, I decided to pursue a career that would allow me to understand the beautiful yet complex relationships between nature and society, and to close the gap between humans and nature generated by development and other social-economic changes.

Use technology to understand grasslands.


Over the past few years, I have been mainly involved in an academia setting, being trained as a geographer and wildlife ecologist. At the same time, I returned to the Tibetan region to work with NGOs and research institutes on projects related to human-wildlife relationships. Currently, as a PhD student at the University of California Berkeley, I have the opportunity to go back to Tibet to carry out my dissertation research with local communities. My current topic is on the social-ecological impacts of fencing. Specifically, I am looking at how land policy change-induced fencing affects vegetation conditions and sustainability of pastoral practices.

Natural education.

My personal and academic experiences share the theme of trying to understand barriers and segregations, and to find ways to bridge them: between different countries and cultures, natural and social sciences, academic and practice, science and policy-making, and ideology and reality. Beyond research, I implement multimedia tools and aim to make science accessible for broader audiences, including policy-makers and the general public, to facilitate science-based policy making process and to promote community engagement in conservation and sustainable development.

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