Admitted from January 2017

Ph.D. Student, Forest Resources Management
University of British Columbia –
Vancouver, Canada

May 2015

Master of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
University of California, Berkeley –
Berkeley, California

• Thesis: Land Use Change in Lepcha indigenous villages in the Himalayas: A Historical Ethno-ecology Approach
Documented traditional food plants that are disappearing in the Himalayas, and studied land use change using both quantitative and qualitative methods: GIS and ethnography, analyzed the process of diversified agricultural practice changed to monocultural practice.

• Academic project:
a) Design green infrastructure as climate change adaptation strategy on campus to mitigate flood and increase biodiversity and esthetic experiences.
b) Planned and designed Hunter’s Point in SF to be resilient for sea level rise.

March 2007

Bachelor of Arts. in Political Studies
Gakushuin University –
Tokyo, Japan   
• Led a Model United Nations conference on “Poverty Reduction for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals.”



Jun-Oct 2017

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) –Paris, France
• Worked as a consultant, organized workshops to find synergies between pastoralists’ indigenous knowledge and scientific knowledge for climate change adaptation in Ethiopia and Uganda.
• Helped organizing a UNESCO conference on indigenous knowledge for climate change adaptation, inviting forty indigenous people from all over the world.
• Wrote a report on weather forecasting indigenous knowledge in Ethiopia and Uganda, comparing and synthesizing the knowledge and finding possibility of making it as regional knowledge.
• Created a plant atlas on ethnobotanical plants in Afar, Ethiopia through a field study, which are used as indicators for predicting rain and drought.

Jan-May 2017

The University of British Columbia–Vancouver, Canada
• Teaching Assistant for the undergraduate course: Foundations of Conservation

Sept-Dec 2015

Alliance Forum Foundation – San Francisco, CA
• Helped writing newsletter articles.

Jan-May 2015

The University of California, Berkeley –Berkeley, USA
• Teaching Assistant for the undergraduate senior studio: Environmental Design
• Brought my green infrastructure project on campus to the studio, and together with the students, moved the project closer to realization.

Mar 2011-Mar 201

Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) –India.
• Performed initial research in the Lepcha villages in the Eastern Himalayas as a Visiting Scholar.
• Conducted a study on Agricultural History of the villages through participatory research.
• Given understanding of indigenous knowledge in the culture that has close interactions with natural environment.

Aug 2010-Feb 2011

Oraccha’ Satoyama Satoumi project – Noto, Japan
• Presented research findings on socio-ecological interrelations in Noto, Japan at the closing event of the COP10 meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Jan-Apr 2010

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) –India.
• Took initiative to visit Bhutan and studied the Education for Gross National Happiness concept, the Government of Bhutan’s development philosophy to achieve environmental preservation, cultural promotion, good governance and sustainable and equitable development.
• Wrote a report on the status of implementation and suggested further implementation strategies for Bhutan’s education systems by interviewing Minister of Education, school principals, and visiting 16 schools in 6 districts.

March 2009

Black Mesa Water Coalition – Flagstaff, Arizona
• Helped conduct research on energy issues of Native American people and green jobs promotion.

October 2008

International Society for Ecology and Culture – Berkeley, California
• Organized data on sustainable and local economy movements in the United States.




NIKON Miki Jun Photography Award
Received Japanese Yen 100,000 Award


UBC Public Scholar Initiative
Received Canadian dollar $9,000 scholarship


Nikon Salon competition Juna21
Received Japanese Yen 50,000 Award


Rotary Global Grant Scholarship
Received USD $30,000 fellowship


UBC Faculty of Forestry Strategic Recruitment Fellowship
Received Canadian dollar $6,000 scholarship


Scott Travel Fellowship from Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning,
UC Berkeley

Received USD $6500 fellowship


Fellowship from College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley
Received USD $7500 fellowship


Merit Scholarship from Lesley University
Received USD $2500 scholarship for the M.S. program



Saori Ogura. 2017. “People and Plants; Sustaining Agrobiodiversity Through Art and Science in Zimbabwe.” Langscape Magazine: Vol. 6: Nov. 1.

Saori Ogura. 2017. “Indigenous Agrobiodiversity and Climate Change.” Branchlines : Vol. 28: Nov. 1.

Chris Marnay, Hirohisa Aki, Keiichi Hirose, Alexis Kwasinski, Saori Ogura, Takao Shinji. 2015. “Japan’s Pivot to Resilience: How the Microgrids Fared After the 2011 Earthquake.” IEEE Power & Energy Magazine: 13(3): 44-57.



NAISA Conference 2017.
“Land Use Change and Traditional Food Plants in Lepcha Indigenous Villages in the Sikkim Himalayas.” Vancouver, Canada

C2U Expo 2017.
“Collaborative Place Making: Gateways to Experiential, Educational, and Engaging Campus Landscapes.” Vancouver, Canada

PECS 2015.
“Land Use Change of Lepcha Indigenous Villages in the Sikkim Himalayas – Historical Ethno-ecology Approach.” Stellenbosch, South Africa

Berkeley Circus 2014.
“Planning for the Future: Bringing a California Landscape to Campus.” Berkeley, USA



Nikon Salon – Tokyo and Osaka, Japan2017

“Learning from Rong”. Selected to have an exhibition on my photography from the Eastern Himalayas at Nikon Salon, Japan. My photos and illustrations were exhibited both in Tokyo and in Osaka for two weeks in total.

Marumikyouya Gallery – Tokyo, Japan2016

“A Journey to the Foundations”. Exhibited my drawings and photography of traditional food plants and traditional landscapes in the Himalayas and in Zimbabwe. This exhibition allowed me to present my research work through visual arts, and to raise awareness of the issues of global land use change and food security issues, as well as to inspire solutions through indigenous innovation.

Rachna Books and Revolver Hotel – Sikkim and Darjeeling, India2012

“Life in the Villages of the Himalayas”. Exhibited the photography work of the villages in Darjeeling and Sikkim, India, at the local book store and a hotel for one month.

Design Festa Gallery – Tokyo, Japan2008

“Living on the Earth”. Presented my photographies of the traditional village lives above 3800m sea level in Ladakh, Western Himalayas in India.Sikkim Himalayas.” Vancouver, Canada



March 2017

Topic: Climate Change Adaptation and Indigenous Knowledge
Lecture at “Doyoukai”, gathering of experts in multi-disciplinary fields – Tokyo, Japan

Dec 2016

Topic: Climate Change Adaptation and Food Security in Zimbabwe
Lecture for undergraduate students at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies–Tokyo, Japan

October 2012

Topic: Livelihood changes over the past hundred years in the Lepcha villages in Sikkim Himalayas
Lecture for graduate students at Hanshin University –Seoul, South Korea

June 2012

Topic: Livelihood changes over the past hundred years in the Lepcha villages in Sikkim Himalayas
Lecture for alumni of Department of Economics at University of Tokyo –Tokyo, Japan

October 2009

Topic: Creating understanding of sustainability issues through experiential education
Public presentation at Clarendon Hill Church – Massachusetts, USA

October 2008

Topic: Education for Ecological Democracy
Bioneers Conference – California, USA

Language: Fluent in Japanese and English; proficient in Nepali and Norwegian; introductory level in French, German, and Lepcha.