The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Richard Taupier

Research Assistant Professor; Robert N. Ho Family Foundation Collaborative Research Fellow in Buddhist Studies


Ph.D. University of Massachusetts Amherst, History (2014)
Ph.D. University of Massachusetts Amherst, Regional Planning (1998)
M.S. University of Massachusetts Amherst, Environmental Economics (1985)
B.A. University of Massachusetts Amherst, UWW, Buddhist Philosophy (1975)


Rick Taupier holds Ph.D.s in Regional Environmental Planning (1998) and History (2014) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He held a graduate faculty position in Regional Planning from 1998 until 2010 and is the former Associate Director of the UMA Environmental Institute, and former Assistant Secretary of Environmental Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has been a visiting professor at MIT, St. Petersburg State Technical University (Russia) and four the Five Colleges. He currently teaches as a lecturer in Religion at Smith College. His specialization in history is the culture of Buddhist Central Asia and he is qualified to teach Mongolian and Tibetan history, early Russian history and the history of the Qing Dynasty.

Rick is a Robert N. Ho Collaborative Research Fellow in Buddhist Studies. His international collaborative research, funded by ACLS, is called Zaya Pandita and Buddhism among the Western Oirat Mongols. He will collaborate with four Mongolian colleagues on a translation and annotation of a 17th century text called Moon Light (Seren Gerel), the biography of the Oirat Buddhist Lama Zaya Pandita, considered by Eurasian scholars as the most important historical text ever written by the Oirat Mongols. It will be only the third English translation of a Western Mongolian text from Oirat Clear Script.


  • The Mongol-Oirat Great Code of 1640: Innovation in Eurasian State Formation; publication pending, Journal of Asian Literature & Translation, Cardiff, Wales - Pending
  • Book Review; Oirat People: Cultural Uniformity and Diversification: in the Journal Anthropos (110.2015/1) February 2015
  • The Western Mongolian Clear Script and the Making of a Buddhist State: in Buddhism in Mongolian History, Culture, and Society. V. Wallace, Ed. Oxford Univ. Press, 2015
  • The Silk Road, in the Oxford Companion to Archeology: Oxford Univ. Press, 2013
  • Book Review; The Spread of Buddhism among Western Mongolia Tribes of the Thirteenth and Eighteen Centuries; Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 72, No. 3, 2013
  • Knauft, B. and Taupier, R. Eds. Mongolians After Socialism; Admon Press, UB, 2012
  • Mongols and Oirats as Peacekeepers: Buddhist Warriors Behind the Lotus Throne; in Mongolians after Socialism, Admon Press, Ulaan Baatar, 2012