Colorado State University, CO

Executive Summary

Partnering to sustain India’s Biological diversity in the context of rapid environmental change: research, education and community outreach

Need and Objectives. India has an acute shortage of highly trained faculty members for teaching courses in the areas of natural resource sustainability and biodiversity conservation. Such training is essential in the context of rapid changes in state of the global environment driven by accelerating population growth, energy consumption and climate change. To address this need, faculty members from Colorado State University propose to partner with two Indian centers of higher education and research—the National Center for Biological Sciences and the Center for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science—to strengthen undergraduate and graduate education and curriculum development. Our collaborative partnership will focus on identifying shared and unique threats to the ecological integrity of coupled human environmental systems; identify and articulate a range of policy options to diminish these risks; and communicate and help to implement the array of solutions to available local and regional governments, managers and policy makers. We will identify critical gaps in the ecological information needed by decision-makers to sustain ecological processes and conserve the biological diversity of India.

Long-Term Impact. Our joint partnership will enhance the quality and relevance of natural resource and biodiversity conservation education in India and the United States. Faculty exchanges will advance mutual understanding between Indian and American societies, enhance biodiversity conservation effectiveness, and contribute to cross-cultural solutions to global environmental challenges. We are confident that the strong collaborative relations established by our proposed activities will lead to continuing collaborations that will extend well beyond the period of our initial projects.