Student Conference on Conservation Science – Bengaluru-2010 workshop


There were 7-9 workshops, conducted in parallel batches in the afternoons. The goal of the workshops is capacity-building in terms of training in basic conservation and research skills as well as introductions to new ideas, concepts and techniques in conservation science.

01. 16 June. Elements of good study design in ecology. Conducted by: Advait Edgaonkar (IIFM, Bhopal) & Kavita Isvaran (IISc, Bangalore) Capacity: 30. This workshop will discuss a range of issues that arise when designing a study in ecology and conservation. These include how to identify and distribute sampling units and avoid bias while doing so; what inferences can and cannot be drawn from particular research designs; what spatial and temporal scales are appropriate for answering different kinds of questions; and finally some general advice on making inferences from the statistical analysis of ecological data. Throughout, we will use examples to make concepts as clear as possible. After a brief presentation by us on the design of good ecological research, students will split into small groups and discuss different case studies. Representatives from each group will then lead discussions on the strengths and weaknesses of their designs, and on how to improve them to obtain better results.
02. 16 June. Applying genetic techniques to conservation. Conducted by: TNC Vidya (JNCASR, Bangalore), Uma Ramakrishnan (NCBS, Bangalore), Praveen Karanth (IISc, Bangalore), Shomita Mukherjee (SACON, Coimbatore). Capacity: 100. Summary: This workshop will provide an overview of the use of genetic techniques in conservation, including studies on genetic diversity, phylogeny, phylogeography and population genetics, and forensic studies, and methods such as sequencing and microsatellite analysis. It will provide a brief introduction to analytical tools.
03. 17 June. Conservation and livelihoods: getting down to earth. Conducted by: Asmita Kabra (Ambedkar University, Delhi), Arnab Mukherji (Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore) Capacity: 30. Summary: The workshop will introduce participants to social science methods/thinking in the context of conservation research. Some of the issues that the workshop will engage with are (1) Analytical frameworks for understanding rural livelihoods (income approaches, livelihood approaches); (2) Basic research methods: combining survey techniques with participatory methods; and (3) Common pitfalls and dilemmas of rural livelihood research. The workshop will be participatory, and will include hands-on exercises in designing rural livelihood and forest dependence surveys.
04. 17 June. How to get a job in conservation. Conducted by: Rom Whitaker (Agumbe Rainforest Research Station), Ruth DeFries (Columbia University, USA) Capacity: 100. Summary: So, you have a masters or a doctoral degree in conservation or a related field. What next? This workshop will explore the gamut of career options in conservation. With resource people who have chosen very different career trajectories, this session will give you a global perspective on opportunities in the field of conservation. It will cover the range from academic careers to working with NGO’s to creating your own opportunities for work, the pros and cons of different types of jobs, and how to prepare yourself for the type of career that best interests you.
05. 18 June. Where and how to apply for funds for your conservation research. Conducted by: Mewa Singh (University of Mysore) and Ajith Kumar (WCS-India and NCBS, Bangalore) Capacity: 60. Summary: Are you a Masters or PhD student with little or no funding for your conservation research? Or looking for a little extra to make sure you can add an exciting component to your work? This workshop will describe major and minor funding sources available to you; and will give you tips for how to write an effective proposal.
06. 18 June. Introduction to GIS using open-source tools. Conducted by: Srinivas V. (FERAL, Bangalore), Neil Pelkey (Juanita College, USA) Capacity: 30. Summary: In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of GIS, including importing shapefiles and customising maps, using the open-source GIS software QGIS. Participants will need to bring their own laptops, as we don’t have a computer lab available. You must install QGIS and other software before the workshop starts. Details will be emailed to you before the conference begins.