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Environmental Studies

Today, more than ever, our well-being and that of our fellow creatures depends on how we think and act upon the biophysical world we share. Fundamental changes in the earth’s climate and oceans threaten basic survival.  Rivers, forests and grasslands are shrinking.  Cities are collapsing into chaos.  Meanwhile millions of people still lack adequate food, water, energy and shelter.  Environmental Studies (EVS) provides the concepts, methods and modes of analysis to understand and address this range of critical issues.  By offering rigorous training that combines classroom teaching with field research, and by bringing together the humanities, social and natural sciences, EVS equips students with the intellectual and practical resources for achieving social and ecological justice.

 

The department’s faculty members work on a variety of subjects—from wildlife conservation to sustainable food systems, urban planning to air pollution, collective action and environmental movements.  They approach problems from a range of disciplinary perspectives—biology and ecology, cultural geography and history, sociology and anthropology.  Their research draws on experimental methods, quantitative modelling, geographical information systems, field-based observation, ethnographic and archival methods.  Much of this work is cross-disciplinary and collaborative.  It speaks to wider scholarly and public debates, both Indian and global, about environmental issues and policies. Cutting-edge, empirically rich, and theoretically rigorous inquiry and teaching is the hallmark of Environmental Studies at Ashoka. 

Courses Offered
In addition to the Foundation Courses in Environmental Studies that each student is required to take, the department offers a wide range of courses.  While some of these introduce students to a sub-field of the discipline, others provide more specialised training to advanced students.  All the courses draw upon the research expertise of the instructors. 
 
SPRING 2021
SN
Title
LS  Code
Faculty
1
Introduction to Earth Sciences
ES-2105
 
2
Theoretical Ecology
ES-4101
 
3
Exploring Life in the Neighbourhood Lab
ES-2301
 
4
Ecology and Evolution Lab
ES-3301
 
5
Field Methods in Ecology and Conservation Science
ES-3302
 
6
Ecology and Unrest
ES-3433 (old ES3406)
 
7
Environment and Social Exclusion
ES-3435 (old ES3405)
 
8
Cities, Ecology and Equity
ES-3441 (old ES3404)
Amita Baviskar
9
Introduction to Political Ecology
ES -2431 (old ES2403)
 
10
Nature and Nation
ES-3420 (old 3020)
Mahesh Rangarajan
11
Environment and Empire
ES-4420 (old 4001)
Mahesh Rangarajan
12
Political Ecology and Modes of Resistance
ES-2432
Mitul Baruah
13
Political Ecology of Food
ES-2442
Amita Baviskar
14
Environmental Economics
ES-3601
 
15
Introduction to Ecocriticism: Climate Fiction
ES-3701
 
MONSOON 2020
SN
TITLE
LSCODE
FACULTY
1
Evolutionary Biology (Theory)
BIO-2010/ BIO-6010/ ES-3101-1
 
2
Ecology
BIO-3020/ BIO-6020/ ES-2101-1
 
3
Plant Biology
BIO-3453/ BIO-6453/ ES-4301-1
 
4
Seminar: Human-Wildlife Conflict
ES-1001-1
Meghna Agarwala
5
GIS 1
ES-1901-1
Meghna Agarwala
6
Wildlife conservation
ES-2102-1
Divya Karnad
7
Agriculture, Food and Sustainability
ES-2401/ SOA-2502/ POL-2022-1
Aniket Aga
8
Understanding Conflict and Cooperation over Natural Resources
ES-2402/ ECO-3702-1
Divya Karnad
9
Indian Environmental Politics
ES-2433/ POL-3052-1
Mukul Sharma
10
Decoding Genetically Modified Crops: The Global Politics of Agriculture and Biotechnology
ES-3411/ SOA-3502-1
Aniket Aga
11
The Right to Water
SOA-312/ ES-305-1
Mitul Baruah
SPRING 2020
SN
TITLE
LSCODE
FACULTY
1
Exploring Life in the Neighborhood Lab
BIO-1002/ ES-2901-1
 
2
Computational/Mathematical Biology
BIO-3008/ BIO-6013/ CS-2370/ ES-4102/ PSY-3018-1
 
3
Plant Biology
BIO-3453/ BIO-6453/ ES-4301-1
 
4
Environmental Economics
ECO-3700/ ES-3701-1
 
5
Introduction to Ecocriticism: Climate Fiction
ENG-3038/ ENG-5038/ ES-3701-1
 
6
Wildlife conservation
ES-2102-1
Divya Karnad
7
Introduction to Earth Sciences
ES-2105/ BIO-2033-1
 
8
Agriculture, Food and Sustainability
ES-2401/ SOA-2502/ POL-2022-1
Aniket Aga
9
Environment and Social Exclusion
ES-3405/ POL-3049-1
Mukul Sharma
10
Ecology and Unrest
ES-3406/ SOA-3503-1
Aniket Aga
11
Field Methods in Ecology and Conservation Science
ES-3902/ BIO-3023-1
Divya Karnad
12
Environment and Empire in the Early Modern World
HIS-4505/ ES-4001-1
 
13
Cities, Ecology and Equity
SOA-3207/ ES-3404-1
Amita Baviskar
Undergraduate Minor in Environmental Studies
The minor programme at Ashoka trains future scholars and professionals to be rigorous analysts and effective communicators who can understand and address the complexity of environmental issues and interventions.  
 
Requirements: Students must take at least six courses in EVS.  Of the 6 required courses, at least 2 have to be in a different stream from what the student intends to focus on.  That is, a student must take either 4 social sciences and humanities courses and 2 biophysical sciences courses, or 2 social sciences and humanities courses and 4 biophysical sciences courses.  These may include courses offered by other departments that are cross-listed with EVS.
Ashoka Scholars Programme Honours Thesis
Eligibility: Ashoka Scholar's Programme (ASP) students intending to write a thesis must have taken at least 6 courses offered by, or cross-listed with, EVS.  They should also have taken at least one methods course related to their field of interest. 
 
Timeline: Students should identify a potential supervisor by December in Year 3 to discuss thesis prerequisites and draft a research proposal.  The preliminary proposal (1000 words) should be submitted by 31 May.  The final proposal to be presented at the start of Monsoon term.   
 
The summer between semesters 6 and 7 should be used for preliminary fieldwork.  
 
The research proposal should be defended in August in Year 4.
 
The final thesis should be no more than 15,000 words and cover 8 credits (4 each
semester). The thesis will be evaluated by the faculty advisor and, potentially, another Ashoka faculty member.
 
The thesis should be submitted by the beginning of April.
Faculty
EVS 2019-20 Annual Report

Click here to view Department of Environmental Science Annual Report 2019-20