Earthwatch India - Outreach in 2012-13
The citizen science model of engagement in research was presented at an Earthwatch Institute India side event at the 11th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at Hyderabad.
The Earthwatch side event brought together various academic and research institutions that have successfully used the citizen science approach to field research in collaboration with Earthwatch.
Earthwatch projects and programs of were showcased in the exhibition area of the conference.
The panel consisted of Dr. L. M. S. Palni from the G. B. Plant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Almora; Mr. Biswajit Roy Chowdhury from the Nature Environment and Wildlife Society, Kolkata; Dr. Suryakumari from the Centre for People’s Forestry; Dr. V. Shubhalaxmi from the Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai; Ms. Aloka Majumdar, head of sustainability, HSBC India; and Mr. Prabhakar Bhat from the Indian Institute of Science.
The panelists summarized the various scientific research and learning programs initiated across the country in partnership with Earthwatch using their citizen science model of engagement. There was overall support for the citizen science approach and the value it brings to further strengthen conservation efforts in the Indian context.
One of the speakers at the event, Mr. Shirdi Sai Pranit, an HSBC employee who participated in the Climate Champion program, said, “My life took a whole new meaning after going through the climate change and sustainability program at Sirsi. It changed my outlook towards my day-to-day activities. I started looking at sustainability as a way of life and not just as a philanthropic weekend activity, and I believe I make a difference. I can now proudly proclaim I am a Climate Champion.”
CITIZEN SCIENCE MODEL OF ENGAGEMENT IN RESEARCH SHOWCASED AT THE 100TH INDIAN SCIENCE CONGRESS
Since its inception in 1914, the annual session of the Indian Science Congress has emerged as a major national event. Starting with the theme “Shaping Indian Science,” the centenary session scheduled for January 3–7, 2013, had the theme “Science for Shaping the Future of India.”
The centenary event at Kolkata saw Earthwatch showcasing its program initiatives on science-based experiential learning programs.
SCIENCE EXPRESS TRAIN
The Science Express–Biodiversity Special Train, a unique collaborative initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, traveled countrywide during its journey from April 9 to October 28, 2013.
A promo on Earthwatch’s citizen science program was showcased in one of the coaches. It generated interest among students and educators about the participatory scientific research programs where young people can gain hands-on experience by working along with field scientists.