India field school

Field school on coastal commons, social-ecological resilience and transformations

Organized in collaboration with Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and NIRMAN Odisha.

Please see our brochure (PDF).

The rapid social and biophysical changes confronting coastal communities – ranging from shifting livelihood opportunities and globalization impacts to ocean acidification and sea level rise – are in many respects unprecedented. The implications for the resilience and wellbeing of coastal communities are profound, as are the threats to the commons (e.g., fisheries) upon which many coastal communities depend. We urgently need tools and methods to ensure that coastal communities are well prepared to respond and adapt to rapid environmental change, better understand the key attributes driving such changes, and craft governance arrangements that foster deliberate transformations and help to build resilience of social-ecological systems (e.g., coastal commons).

The weeklong field school brings together a selected group of 35 graduate students, NGO professionals, fisher community leaders and government marine and coastal departmental officials to provide training on a host of concepts and approaches in the area of coastal commons, social-ecological system resilience and transformative change. It includes a creative mix of both classroom teaching and field training right in the heart of Asia’s largest Lagoon – Chilika.

Participants will gain firsthand experience and creatively engage in furthering their understanding and knowledge of coastal commons using a social-ecological systems perspective, principles and applications of resilience in the context of rapid change, and deliberate on novel governance approaches though which commons can be sustained and positive transformations can be achieved.

University of Waterloo students receive course credits towards their successful completion of the field school. A certificate of participation is provided to all participants. Limited funding support to graduate students is available.