The Conservation Practice course comprises 80 credits in total, of which 18 are from the project semester and the remaining are from field and practice oriented classroom semesters. The first classroom semester comprises interdisciplinary foundation courses including ecology, sociology for conservation and sustainability ,environmental science, environmental economics theory of change, philosophy of science, philosophy of practice, research methodologies, and scientific communication. The second classroom semester comprises domain knowledge courses on biodiversity, food systems, and ecosystem services as well as perspectives courses on conservation ethics, impact assessment, political ecology, and social-ecological systems. The third and final semester includes practice-oriented domain skills courses on landscape restoration, conservation technologies, decision science, approaches to conservation, climate change, and conservation psychology. In addition, during this third semester students are offered a range of electives on project cycle management, adaptive learning, effective advocacy, ethnobotany, transdisciplinarity, environmental humanities, and medicinal plants to choose from based on their interests. A tentative list of courses can be downloaded here.
The fourth semester of the course is a project semester and students choose between undertaking a thesis under a supervisor from ATREE or TDU based on mutual interests and faculty expertise, or participating in an internship with a partner organization. The ‘thesis stream’ will involve conducting research at ATREE’s Community Conservation centres (CCCs) in the Western Ghats, Western Coast, and the Eastern Himalayas. ATREE set up the CCCs to aid the production of research that is pertinent to and usable by local communities in their conservation efforts. Furthermore, they provide a space for communities to interact with researchers and support conservation education programmes, collaboration in conservation efforts as well as long term socio-ecological monitoring. The ‘internship stream’ will enable students to learn from the expertise of partner organizations in NGO, corporate, government or academic sectors by undertaking an internship at a chosen organisation. Whether a student chooses the ‘thesis stream’ or the ‘internship stream,’ they will be given the opportunity to apply classroom learning to real world situations and partake in experiential learning.
The Ecoinformatics, Biosystematics, Conservation Genetics and Water and Science Lab at ATREE and the Research Hospital at TDU offer world class facilities for research in conservation and sustainability. You can know more about these facilities here and here.