Field practice stories from our undergraduates

A series of articles by the students of Azim Premji University in Nature inFocus, as part of a field practice and writing workshop for their sustainability minor

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The Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) curriculum on Sustainability introduces undergraduate students to a social-ecological systems (SES) perspective of sustainability. Along with engaging in theoretical concepts, students are required to engage with the sustainability of SES in the real world around them. 

As part of the minor curriculum, students undertake a three-week faculty-guided field practice aimed at enabling students to get exposure to addressing sustainability challenges in its integrated social and ecological dimensions.

In May 2022, this field practice component was facilitated by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE) at their community conservation centres situated in Agasthyamalai in Tamil Nadu and Vembanad in Kerala. During the field practice, students were required to reflect and record daily, in a field journal, their learnings from the Field in connection to concepts learned in class.

Later, a writing workshop was conducted by Krishna Anujan, an ecologist and environmental writer. During this workshop with Krishna, the students used the entries from their field journals and wrote popular pieces on topics of interest. 

Five of these pieces will be published by Nature inFocus over the next few weeks which cover a range of interesting topics — from clam collectors in Vembanad to religion and ecology in Agasthyamalai, disappearing fireflies, mudpuddling by butterflies, and more.