Ian studied art history, literature, and comparative religion at Middlebury College, Oxford University, and Columbia University and Medical Anthropology at University College London. He is an international fellow of the Explorers Club and was honored by National Geographic Society as one of six ‘Explorers for the Millennium’ for his ethnographic and geographical field research in Tibet’s Tsangpo gorges and his team’s discovery of a waterfall that had been the source of myth and geographic speculation for more than a century.
Ian is the author of seven critically acclaimed books on Himalayan and Tibetan cultural history, environment, art, and medicine including The Heart of the World: A Journey to the Last Secret Place, Celestial Gallery, The Tibetan of Art of Healing, and The Dalai Lama’s Secret Temple, a collaborative work with His Holiness The Dalai Lama that illuminates Tantric Buddhist meditation practices. Ian’s latest book, Tibetan Yoga: Secrets from the Source, will be published in 2016. Ian has also written for National Geographic Magazine and has contributed to academic journals in the fields of Tibetan yoga and physical culture in Vajrayāna Buddhism.