Workshop on Angiosperm Taxonomy, Bio-resource Conservation and its Utilization
ATREE and Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) conducted a workshop on 'Angiosperm taxonomy, Bio-resource Conservation and Utilization' from December 3rd to December 7th, 2018 at the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, Guwahati. This workshop was conducted under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) funded project “Bio-resources and Sustainable Development in Northeast India”. Twenty-five students attended the workshop from 11 institutions from the eight states of Northeast India.The workshop focused on training students in field-based taxonomy and undertaking baseline inventories of plant diversity.

The workshop also focussed on assessing the economic value of bio-resources and in documenting the distribution of bio-resources and their use by local communities. Ten resource persons from all over the country delivered talks on various aspects of angiosperm taxonomy and sustainable use of bio-resources through both lectures and field visits.

The participants received intensive training and exposure on various tools available to identify plants and quantify bio-resources. The talks dealt with identifying the plants using not only basic taxonomic skills but also by using databases, cyber-taxonomy and molecular taxonomy. The participants were also given exposure to the ethics of collecting plant samples, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and National Biodiversity Authority regulations on biodiversity and indigenous knowledge, herbarium preparation and social science methods for data collection and analysis. The participants also received training in basic photography and in preparation of plant monographs.
ATREE  at the Next Frontiers in Civil Engineering Conference
ATREE Fellow, Veena Srinivasan, gave the keynote address in the 'Next Frontiers in Civil Engineering: Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Conference', held at IIT Bombay recently. Veena spoke about -'Bridging water science and policy to address India's water crisis' at the conference. The conference aimed to focus on emerging challenges within various specialisations of civil engineering and solutions that would shape our future.

It looked at diverse themes like - Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure for better Mobility and Accessibility, Sustainability in Geotechnical Practices, Water Security, Resilient Structures for Extreme Hazards, Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Development, and Sustainable Construction Systems. 
ATREE at the University of Edinburgh and University of Stirling
ATREE's Post-Doctoral Fellow, Shikha Lakhanpal, participated in a workshop titled, 'Extreme Events: Reach of Drought from the Nexus Perspective' at the University of Stirling from December 3rd to December 6th, 2018. The workshop was aimed at developing potential collaborations and funding proposals to strengthen research ties between Indian and UK partners. She also gave a talk on 'Best Practices in equality and integration of partners and disciplines in trans-disciplinary projects'. 

Shikha was also invited to give a seminar talk, titled 'Renewable Energy in India: Promises and Pitfalls' at the University of Edinburgh on December 10th, 2018. In her talk, Shikha analysed India's renewable energy policy sector from multiple spatial perspectives including national, provincial and local scales. 
ATREE hosts students from Agricultural College and Research Institute and S.Thangapazham Agriculture College, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University 

Undergraduate students from Agricultural College and Research Institute and S.Thangapazham Agriculture College, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University visited Agasthyamalai Community Conservation Centre (ACCC) recently.
The visit was part of the Rural Agricultural Work Experience (RAWE) programme. The students were introduced to our long-term research works at Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR). A lecture on 'the role of snakes in rodent control in agricultural fields' gave them new insights on snakes. Documentary movies on several other environmental issues were also screened.
ATREE Organizes an Environmental Awareness Program for Students from Advaith Foundation
An environmental awareness program was organized by ATREE’s Environmental Education team  at the Kanakapura Community-based Conservation Centre (CCC) for students of Advaith Foundation recently. The students also got an opportunity to interact with the community and observe the process of sericulture.
Training Programme on Open Data Kit for Field Researchers 
The Academy for Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies, ATREE organised a three day Open Data Kit (ODK) training programme for field researchers from December 12th to December 14th, 2018. On the first day, ATREE's Shiva Subramanya introduced the participants to different open data collection platforms as well as the three components of the ODK platform - ODK Collect, ODK Aggregate and ODK Build.

The participants were shown how to develop surveys using ODK Build and convert them to XML forms to import onto ODK collect. They were also taught the manner in which files could be aggregated in the common ODK aggregate server and developed their own survey forms.  

On day two of the programme, the participants collected data by collecting training points, using the ODK Collect App, around Nandi Hills to perform land-use and land cover classification.They also collected various species occurence points for understanding species distribution. They also learnt how to visualise the collected data on platforms like QGIS, Google Earth and Google My Maps.  

On the last day of the programme, Allie Lieber, Programme Manager at Google Earth Outreach introduced the participants to Google Earth Engine. In the subsequent sessions, ATREE's Vikram Aditya and Abhishek Samrat discussed the functions of Google Earth Engine using Earth Engine Explorer and scripting. 
ATREE's Staff Outing to Biligiri Rangana Betta (BR Hills)

ATREE organized a staff outing to the Community-based Conservation Centres, (CCC) at  Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve on December 15th and December 16th, 2018. The outing aimed to acquaint our institutional staff with the work done at our Community-based Conservation Centre.

A cultural event and a jungle safari were some of the highlights of the outing which saw enthusiastic participation from the staff members. 
Life Skills Program for ATREE's Support Staff

ATREE recently organized a life skills program for support staff. It involved participation from ATREE Bangalore support staff, BRT field staff and Kanakapura Community-based Conservation Centre field staff. 

The Program was conducted by Dr. Raju and the participants were appreciative of the endeavour which aimed to aid in the advancement of their career.

ATREE at the Explorer Series
ATREE Fellow, Abi T Vanak was one of the scientist-explorer's at the The Wellcome Trust/ DBT India Alliance (India Alliance) organized public science talks, the Explorer Series. The Wellcome Trust/ DBT India Alliance is a public charity, funded equally by the Wellcome Trust (UK) and the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. The Explorer series, commemorating its 10-year journey, aimed to inspire the young to value science and ignite excitement in science.

Abi spoke to 500 college students at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on -  'A dogged problem: Can India eliminate rabies by 2030?' and explored how dogs, our faithful companions, may have evolved into potential mortal enemies.
ATREE at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union
ATREE's Ankila Hiremath and Sonali Saha from Department of Biology and Wellness, Miami Dade College presented a poster - ' A Thirsty Invasive Tree in an Arid Ecosystem: Implications for Hydrology, Landscape, and Livelihoods' at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) at Washington DC recently.

The fall meeting of the AGU had a special focus on ethics, diversity and inclusion and explored the many dimensions of science’s impact on society.
 Family Wild Quest 2018
ATREE’s Agasthyamalai Community-based Conservation Centre, Manimutharu, Tamil Nadu Forest Department, Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and District Science Centre, Tirunelveli together organized the - ' Family Wildlife Quest FWQ 1.O' on December 30th, 2018.

The FWQ is an annual wildlife quiz competition for students and their parents to raise awareness about the natural world and develop curiosity. This competition encouraged students to look beyond their curriculum and textual knowledge and establish a relationship with nature. It also promoted concepts of conservation. Students from southern districts of Tamil Nadu from classes 7th to 9th participated in the event along with their parents. The winning team was offered the unique opportunity to be part of a one-day field trip to Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR). The event was organized for the first time in District Science Centre, Tirunelveli.
ATREE at the IWMI-TATA Conference and Community Meetings by ARCH-Vahini and Lok Samanvay Pratishthan
ATREE's Distinguished Fellow, Sharachchandra Lele, was at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI)-Tata program partners’ meet on 'Building Climate Resilience for Doubling Farmers Income: Innovations in Land, Water, Energy and Ecosystems' held at Anand from December 4th to December 6th, 2018. He was part of the expert panel on Water Governance and Climate Change and the expert panel on 'Town-Periphery Water and Nutrient Transactions.' He also gave a presentation on - 'Integrated Urban Lake Governance'.

Sharachchandra Lele also spoke at a meeting on December 8th, 2018 organized by ARCH-VAHINI. The meeting involved adivasi community representatives from many villages in Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary that have received Community Forest Rights (CFR) under the Forest Rights Act 2006 and are now drafting CFR Management Plans using guidelines drafted by ATREE-Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
 team. He also spoke at similar meetings in Nandurbar district, Maharashtra organized by Lok Samanvay Pratishthan.
ATREE at the Primate Research Institute
As a collaborator on the project entitled 'Characterizing the role of large frugivores in seed dispersal networks: macaques and hornbills in Asia' under the aegis of the India-Japan Co-operative Science Programme (IJCSP), ATREE's, Adjunct Fellow, Asmita Sengupta visited the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan.

During the visit, she was also invited to give a talk on her doctoral and current research. In her talk entitled 'The hand that feeds the monkey: influence of provisioning by humans on primate ecological functions', she spoke about the role of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) as seed dispersers and how anthropogenic interference in the form of supplemental feeding can affect this ecological function.
ATREE's Kartik Shanker and Siddhartha Krishnan talk about the age, privilege and gender hierarchies that plague Indian academia and assert on the need to rid academia of these hierarchies to benefit science and society. Read More...
Upcoming Events
ASSAR Project Dissemination Workshop and Panel Discussion
ATREE along with a host of other organizations is conducting a one-day workshop in Chennai to share evidence from the (Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions) ASSAR project with government officials, scientists, practitioners and NGO representatives from Tamil Nadu. The ASSAR project is a multi-institutional, multi-scale, interdisciplinary project to inform and transform climate adaptation policy and practice. It also aims to promote the long-term wellbeing of the most vulnerable.

In India, one of the three sites where the project has been implemented is the Moyar-Bhavani basin in Tamil Nadu. The study examined the influence of climactic, carbon dioxide fertilization and other local land-use drivers on vegetation; climate change and variability; and land-use, land cover (LULC) changes. The findings of this study have implications for environmental governance, forest management, invasive species control, reducing vulnerability to climate change and in addition to lessons for climate change adaptation.

The workshop will also have two panel discussions on - 'Management of Alien Invasive Species in Protected Areas' and 'Adaptive Governance of Forests in Response to Global Change'.
Between the Bookends
ATREE's Veena Srinivasan and Sharachchandra Lele call for basin-scale water management in the book chapter -'Managing river basins: re-examining the biophysical basis' of  'India’s Water Futures : Emergent Ideas and Pathways.'
In the News 


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