Dr. Pankaj Jain
Specialization: Indian Traditions and Ecology
Home institution in US: University of Texas, Denton
Host Institution in India: Himalayan Environmental Studies and
Conservation Organization, Dehradun, Uttarakhand       
Start date/Month in India: June 2012
Duration of grant: 4 months

Brief Bio:
Dr. Pankaj Jain is the author of Dharma and Ecology of Hindu Communities: Sustenance and Sustainability (Ashgate 2011) and is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas (UNT) in the departments of Philosophy & Religion Studies and Anthropology. He has published articles in journals such as Religious Studies Review, Worldviews, Religion Compass, Journal of Vaishnava Studies, Union Seminary Quarterly Review and Journal of Visual Anthropology. He also contributes to The Huffington Post, The Washington Post and Patheos.

His research and teaching interests include Indian religions and ecology, Indian films, Sanskrit, and Hindi/Urdu languages and literatures. Before joining UNT, he taught at North Carolina State University, Rutgers University, Kean University and New Jersey City University. Interested in connecting ancient practices with contemporary issues, Dr. Jain’s research explores the connections between religious traditions and sustainability in Hindu and Jain communities in India and the Indian diaspora.

Dr. Jain’s Fulbright research will assess the Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization’s initiatives in indigenous technology, agriculture, horticulture, water resources, renewable energy, women’s empowerment, microfinancing, social justice and waste management. He will interview residents of each village to assess their sustainability goals and projects, educational programs and future aspirations. He will use this assessment and the application of quantitative sustainability indicators to develop a research and education village project in northern India over the next five years that will track the progress of such non-governmental organizations towards their goals.