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MPhil/MSc Fellows

 

 

Rashmita Sarkar, MPhil, Department of Geography, Sikkim University, Sikkim, India

Sarkar’s tentative research title is “Women’s Responses to the Impacts of Climate Change with Particular Focus on Access to Water in Pamphok, Sikkim Himalaya”. Her study is part of HI-AWARE’s Research Component 2: “Socio-economic, Governance and Gender Drivers and Conditions Leading to Climate Vulnerability”.

She holds a Master’s degree in Geography from Sikkim University, with a post-graduate diploma in Tea Management. Her Master’s paper on ‘Gender and Space’ encouraged her to further her research on the same topic. Her research interests are women and social issues.

 

Navin Rai, MPhil Candidate, Department of Geography, School of Human Science, Sikkim University, Indira Bypass, Gangtok Sikkim

Rai’s tentative research topic is “Hydropower Development in the Face of Climate Change and Issues of Adaptation in the Upper Teesta Catchment of the Sikkim Himalaya”. His research will focus on how hydropower projects along the Teesta River Basin are making the region environmentally insecure. He will be using frameworks of environmental security with a special focus on rural people who are directly or indirectly dependent on river water for agriculture and household purposes. His paper will seek to understand local perceptions of climate variability (seasonal variations like rainfall, precipitation, and heat), its impacts on their livelihoods, and issues of local adaptation. 

While a Master’s student at Sikkim University (2013-15), Rai worked on issues of transboundary water resource conflict on the Teesta River Basin, specifically focusing on the conflict between India (Sikkim, West Bengal) and Bangladesh.

 

 

 

Trinayana Kaushik, MSc, Climate Science and Policy, TERI University, New Delhi, India

Kaushik’s research work will focus on Water and Agriculture in the Himalayan foothills, one of HI-AWARE’s mandates. The broad objective of the study is to identify the seasonal impacts of climate extremes on the agriculture of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region and introduce adaptation strategies both at the local and national levels.

She holds an Honours degree in Chemistry from Gargi College, University of Delhi.  She is the second author of a research paper titled “Aversion of Girls Towards Higher Study of Science and Technology—a Study”’ presented at the National Seminar on New Perspectives in Science and Technology Education in Morigaon, Assam. She conducted a study on the carbon footprint of TERI University from July 2014 to June 2015, which is due to get published in Terra Matters.

 

Abha Nirula, MSc Economics, TERI University, New Delhi, India

Nirula’s research will focus on HI-AWARE’s Research Component 3, which focuses on the monitoring and assessment of climate change adaptation practices. She will be working in the Upper Ganga River Basin. The broad objective of her master’s research is to identify and rank adaptation options based on a set of criteria and study their characteristics, including factors that hinder or help adaptation response.

After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of Delhi, she joined Finnacle Capital Advisors Pvt. Ltd. as a junior research analyst. Her research interests are climate change adaptation assessment, roles of alternate energy options, and institutions in climate change adaptation. She enjoys playing the violin and travelling.

 

 

 

Nitish Kanetkar, MTech in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management, Department of Energy and Environment, TERI University, New Delhi

Kanetkar’s research will focus on HI-AWARE’s Research Component 3, which involves the assessment of climate change adaptation practices.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum. There, his final year project was on solar energy. Titled the “Evacuated Tube Solar Cooker”, the project looked at ways in which the actual cooking time involved in solar cooking can be reduced. He worked with Bosch Limited in Bengaluru from 2011 to 2015 as Senior Engineer in the Starter Motors Design and Development Department. His interest is in renewable energy technologies.

 

Ashmita Paudel, Masters in Environmental Science, Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuwan University, Kathmandu, Nepal

Paudel’s MSc research thesis is titled “Climate Change Adaptation in Livelihood and Agriculture in the Gandaki Basin, Nepal”. She will assess adaptation practices and analyse the resilience of a rural community with agriculture as its main source of livelihood.

She did her Bachelor’s project on soil properties and carbon stock under different land-use types in the mid-hills of Nepal. From August 2012 to July 2013, she worked as Research Assistant at the Aquatic Ecology Centre, Kathmandu University, where her responsibilities included field work and lab-work associated with water and soil. Her interests are blogging, reading, photography, and trekking.

 

 

 

Binod Prasad Parajuli, MSc Candidate, Central Department of Environment Science, Tribhuwan University, Kirtipur, Nepal

Parajuli’s research will focus on HI-AWARE’s Research Component 2: Socio-economic, Governance and Gender Drivers and Conditions Leading to Climate Vulnerability. He will be working in the Upper Gandaki Basin in Nepal.

 He has worked as coordinator of Youth for Disaster Risk Reduction, an informal youth network; as programme officer for Environment and Child Concern Organisation Nepal, and as programme coordinator of the National Network of Community Disaster Management Committees. Recently, he led the Nepal Chapter of the "Global Divestment Campaign" demanding strong climate action. His interests are climate change adaptation, youth empowerment, and disaster risk reduction.

 

Sunam Pradhan, MSc Candidate, Central Department of Environmental Sciences, Tribhuwan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal

Pradhan’s research will focus on HI-AWARE’s Research Component 3, which involves the monitoring and assessment of climate change adaptation practices. She will be working in the Upper Gandaki Basin. The broad objective of her MSc research is yet to be defined, although it will be related to water issues

Pradhan completed her Bachelor’s in Environmental Science. She has keen interests in water issues, adaptation and resilience. To date, she has carried out two case studies: 1) shift in agricultural practices in Damauli, Western Nepal, and 2) economic portfolio analysis of the people of Rasuwa. A year ago, she assisted WWF projects with Elephant Conflict Management in Bahundagi and Sainik villages in Eastern Nepal.

 

 

 

Sijal Pokharel, MSc Candidate, Central Department of Environmental Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal

Pokharel wants to focus her research on HI-AWARE’s Research Component 3, which is related to the monitoring and assessment of climate change adaptation practices. She wants to work at the community level, analysing socio-economic aspects and the livelihoods of people through the perspective of gender. Her research interests are climate change vulnerability, mitigation and adaptation, and water-induced disasters.

She recently conducted case studies on: 1) water demand, availability and water related issues in Goljung VDC, Rasuwa, and 2) an overview of agriculture in Goljung. She is a core committee member of Community for Environment Conservation, and has participated in “Awareness on Improved Cooking Stove Installation”, in Baigundhura VDC and Tophgachi VDC of Eastern Nepal. Her hobbies include reading books, writing articles and poems, photography, visiting new places and hiking.

 

Maria Javed, MSc in Water Resources Engineering and Management, NUST Institute of Civil Engineering, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Javed’s research will focus on HI-AWARE Research Components 1 and 3: Bio-physical Drivers and Conditions Leading to Climate Vulnerability, and Monitoring and Assessment of Climate Change Adaptation Practices, respectively.  She is working in the Soan River Basin located in the mid-hill region of the Indus Basin. The objective of her study is to investigate climate change scenarios and identify the impacts of climate change on water resources (supply and demand) at the basin scale. Additionally, the study focuses on how to manage water resources for green growth. Literature reviews on existing climate change adaptation practices (if any) and the identification of the best-possible strategies in the given scenarios are also part of her research.

 

 She is an Agricultural Engineering graduate from the University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, Pakistan. While an intern at the National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad, she helped design an automatic drip irrigation system using solar energy. Her current research interests are impacts of climate, land use changes and use of modern technology in growth and development.  She loves travelling, community service and watching movies.

 

Hammayun Zulfiqar Rana, MSc, Water Resource Engineering and Management, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan

Rana’s research will focus on HI-AWARE’s Research Component 3: monitoring and assessment of climate change adaptation practices. He will be working in the Lai Nullah Basin, part of the Soan River Basin which lies in the mid-hill region of the Indus River Basin. The broad objective of his Master’s research is to carry out land use assessment through urban change detection and assessments of hydrological responses to climate change and land use change with regards to flood events; analysis of flood plain zoning; and identification of climate resilience and adaptation strategies. As the first study of its kind, Rana’s research will be beneficial to policy makers and stakeholders working in  flood hazards to decide on adaptation and mitigation strategies ahead of time.

 He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, and has received a Geographic Information Systems diploma from Cairo Institute of Technology, Egypt. His research interests include climate change impacts on hydrological response, assessment of adaptation measures and approaches, and roles of institutions and stakeholders in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. He has worked as a UN volunteer in Sudan, served as Project Manager for the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency, and executed various water supply projects—including a foreign-funded rain water harvesting project—in remote parts of Kashmir.

 

Razia Begum, MPhil, Food and Agriculture Technology at Karakoram International University, Gilgit, Pakistan

Begum is currently working on HI-AWARE Research Component 3. Her research topic “Dealing with Quality Comparison of Drinking Water Sources of Mountain Cities of the Gilgit Baltistan Region” is very pertinent in the context of the contamination of water in Gilgit Baltistan, a longstanding issue that needs immediate addressing.

Begum completed her BS with Honours in Food and Agriculture Technology from Karakoram International University. She worked on the phytochemical analysis and value addition of mountain herbal berries at the Central Karakoram National Park, Gilgit Baltistan, as commissioned by EvK2CNR under the SEED project.

 

Kashif Jamal, MSc Student, Water Resources Engineering and Management, National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan

Jamal is working on HI-AWARE Research Component 3 which focuses on the monitoring and assessment of climate change adaptation practices. His research is titled, “Hydrological Response to Climate Change on the Hunza River Basin, and Adaptation Strategies”.

Jamal completed his Bachelor’s degree from Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan. During this time he received a certificate in ArcGIS and hydrological modelling from the Pakistan Meteorological Department, Islamabad. He has attended several international training workshops related to his research interest: water security and climate change.

 

Zubair Hafeez, MSc Student, Water Resources Engineering and Management, National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan

Hafeez is currently working on HI-AWARE Research Component 3 which focuses on the monitoring and assessment of climate change adaptation practices. His research is titled “Hydrological Response to Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies for Simly Dam Catchment”.

Zubair completed his Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan, and received a Primavera P6 diploma from the Institute of Computer and Business Techniques, Lahore. He has organised rallies and door to door campaigns to create awareness of environmental protection, and volunteered on “wheat campaigns” in remote areas of Punjab to familiarise farmers with new technologies and techniques. He has worked with the Punjab Irrigation Department on different projects such as canal designing, construction of bridges and drainage works.

 

 

Md Abdullah Al Mamun, MPhil Fellow, Institute of Bangladesh  Studies, Rajshahi University, Rajshahi, Bangladesh

Mamun’s MPhil research title is “Rural Livelihood Adaptations to Climate Change in the Flood Plains of the Brahmaputra River Basin: A Comprehensive Study on Sustainable Rural Development”. His research area includes a catchment of the lower Teesta River.  He will study the changing patterns of livelihood in the Teesta floodplain as a result of changes in the discharge of water. The rural people of this area are trying to cope with the changing situation through changes in livelihood and housing patterns. His research will emphasise on sustainable development because proper use of surface and underground water will make this flood plain friendlier for future generations.

Mamun completed his BSc and MSc from the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies of Rajshahi University, Bangladesh. He joined the Bangladesh Civil Service as a Lecturer of Geography at the Abdulpur Government College.

 

Sk Junnun Al Hussain, MSc Student, Geography and Environmental Studies, University Of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh

Hussain’s research will focus on HI-AWARE’s Research Component 3, which involves assessment of climate change adaptation practices. He will be working in the flood plains of the Teesta basin. The broad objectives of his MSc thesis is to assess the drought and flood (multi-hazard) situations in risk-prone areas in Lalmonirhat district, and identify, list, and rank adaptation practices based on a set of criteria for uptake.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Rajshahi. He was part of a project titled “Assessment of Water Supply and Sanitation Facilities for Ramchandrapur Slum in Rajshahi City Corporation”. From 2011-2014, he conducted four micro-regional surveys in different parts of Bangladesh. His research interests are climate change vulnerability, adaptation assessment, disaster management and disaster risk reduction.