Chat Archives
Chat on "Online Environmental Courses" dated March 15, 2014
  • Susan Sharma: The chat will begin at 7.30 PM
  • Susan Sharma: Hi welcome Sri lasya
  • sri lasya kannepalli: hey thank you
  • Susan Sharma: Today Shubhalakshmi , Dy Director of BNHS will be in the chat room soon.
  • Susan Sharma: The topic is "Online Environmental Programs
  • sri lasya kannepalli: Yes and I am really looking forwrd to this
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: hi
  • Susan Sharma: Hi Shubha
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Hi Susan
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Shall we start the chat
  • Susan Sharma: Yes, Shubha
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Hi Sri
  • sri lasya kannepalli: Hello Mam
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: I am Shubha
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: We could begin with a brief overview about BNHS online courses in natural history
  • sri lasya kannepalli: yes please
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: BNHS has been offering correspondence courses in wildlife topics for more than 25 years, however it was only in 2010 that we shifted to online mode
  • Susan Sharma: Hi S.K Patel
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Today we offer 4 courses; Ornithology, Entomology, Herpetology and Biodiversity Conservation
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: We still stand to be only institution in the world that offers online hobby courses in natural history
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Our courses are taken by professionals from any stream, having a science background is not a prerequiste
  • Susan Sharma: Why do you call them hobby courses?
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: We enroll 25-75 participants every year on various courses
  • sri lasya kannepalli: and what are the eligibilities
  • sri lasya kannepalli: to join?
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: A large number of our participants have enrolled these courses as hobby because it is not related to their profession, however it helps their hobby of being nature lover
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: No prerequistes as such, you just need to have computer skills
  • sri lasya kannepalli: but if we wanted to take a serious career will this course help?
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: We have found that most of the professionals after getting settled in life and career look out for studying opportunities which is termed as life-long learning
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Yes thats the beauty of the course, people have used our courses to change their career streams
  • sri lasya kannepalli: hey thats great ...
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: The course learning are built in a such a way that it is upto the individual whether they want to take it up seriously enough to make a career shift or just satisfy your hobby
  • sri lasya kannepalli: you know I have initially been skeptic to online courses
  • sri lasya kannepalli: but slowly i understand this is such a nice portal
  • sri lasya kannepalli: to communicate and impart knowledge
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: I understand from where this is coming, Indians are yet to accept this online learning approach. For me too, an online course in Distance Education at Boston University helped me to make the shift.
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: But I also learnt that if our courses are purely online, it would be rendered ineffective, therefore we built a hybrid version to have onsite and offsite engagements
  • sri lasya kannepalli: and how do we go about with practicals?? because streams like herpetology really need expert traing
  • sri lasya kannepalli: , sorry i meant training
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: We have online and field assignments
  • sri lasya kannepalli: and the field trips are conducted in??
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: We give enough choices for participants to choose assignments of their choice since certain number of assignments are mandatory as ours a graded course
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Field asisgnments is usually walks, camps and workshops which are held throughout year at different locations across the country, the participants have to make their choices
  • sri lasya kannepalli: great... so if i am interested in joining the course... are the admissions open??
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: We have two batches annually; January and June. You could join the June batch
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Our courses are promoted on this portal so keep looking
  • sri lasya kannepalli: great... Ma'am please speak about your personal experience too
  • sri lasya kannepalli: about conserving scenario
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: call me Shubha...my personal experience as designing and running these courses or overall
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Ask me something specific, I will respond
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: I have been with BNHS for 20 years so my experience has been very varied and vast and its difficult and pick and speak
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Please visit our site at www.bnhs.org to learn about our activities
  • Susan Sharma: About running the course, now for 3 years almost?
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Are you there Sri?
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Ya the online courses have been very challenging and enriching experience.
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: The course being intensive needs constant monitoring which my colleague Priti does well.
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: In every course I find 4-5 interested souls who wish make a difference to this planet. We mentor and support such individuals
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: We get these participants to volunteer with BNHS and some are absorbed as BNHS employess
  • Susan Sharma: How many people have you trained online so far?
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: So by running these courses we are developing human capital for nature conservation
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Hmm I don't have figures on hand but close 500
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: we get 50-70 participants for our Biodiversity Conservation and Ornithology course and a small number for Entomology and Herpetology
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Thats speaks about the awareness about a particular subject, birds are more popular than insects and reptiles
  • Susan Sharma: That is a good number. Let us put out some more case studies of people who have found the courses a step towards changing career choices.
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: But we are confident this construed wildlife fascination will change in times to come
  • Susan Sharma: We have had enquiries from foreign nationals learning about India
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: I presented a poster on our online courses, I will share that lateron
  • Susan Sharma: Would you think of designing a purely online course for such people? Awareness about entomology for example is much more abroad.
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Yes that's something I never anticipated, however now its a global village we could no more restrict ourselves to our country. As long as the foreign professionals are able to complete their assignments from their own country, we could include them
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Our course content is indeed global so it is good to be offered for foreigners too
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: I guess we have come to an end to our chat session.
  • Susan Sharma: But issuing a certificate to them based on the current system of marking would be difficult.
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Its nice atleast one person took time to be with us. Thanks Sri
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Why you think so
  • Susan Sharma: Currently 50% grades are for field work.
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: But they need to complete their assignments from their own country
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: without field work our course is souless
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: I therefore mentioned as long as they are able to complete the assignment any national could do our courses
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Shall we end our session?
  • Susan Sharma: Let us mention this specifically in our course details. That field work is compulsory but can be done anywhere (only for foreign nationals)
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: yes its mentioned in the study guide but we will make it special mention for foreigners
  • Susan Sharma: Since every one else is busy exchanging Holi wishes online, let us end now and wish you a Happy Holi
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Bye for Susan I need to catch with my dinner now. Good night and Happy Holi
  • Susan Sharma: Thank you very much for the time taken out from your busy schedule
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Thanks for the invitation. The pleasure was mine
  • Susan Sharma: Look out for the transcript in a few minutes. Good night1
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Online Courses on the study of birds - July, 2015
Rewilding degraded Land- practical experiences - June, 2015
Why are vultures important for Swachh Bharat? - May, 2015
Green Living - March, 2015
Restoring degraded lands for wildlife - January, 2015
Insect Tourism - November, 2014
Use of GIS and Remote Sensing for Biodiversity Conservation - October, 2014
Why celebrate wildlife week? - September, 2014
Wildlife Film making - July, 2014
Wildlife Film making - June, 2014
Sharing of Experiences by our wilderness volunteers - May, 2014
Online Environmental Courses - March, 2014
Decreasing tolerance of backyard wildife - February, 2014
Frogs of India - January, 2014
Sustainable Development: The Right Approach - December, 2013
Tiger Cyclowalk- an Interview with Sunil Joshi - December, 2013
Tiger Cyclowalk - Highlands to Ocean - November, 2013
Volunteering at Melghat Tiger Reserve - October, 2013
Role of Citizens in Scientific Research - September, 2013
Ranthambore Adventure - January, 2013
Bats-The Night Warriors - October, 2012
Man vs Tiger-Can Science help? - July, 2012
Human Elephant Conflict - June, 2012
Saving the one horned rhino - May, 2012
"Man-Leopard Conflict - how we can deal with it" - April, 2012
Environment and Wildlife Film making - March, 2012
"Rainforest Wildlife-Unique adaptations" - February, 2012
Conserving wildlife in fragmented landscapes - January, 2012
Urban Biodiversity - September, 2011
Green Hiking in the Himalayas - August, 2011
Role of Zoos in Conservation - July, 2011
Reduce, Recycle and Reuse - June, 2011
Black Necked Cranes - symbol of the rising Green Consciousness - May, 2011
Wildlife Issues in the North -East of India - April, 2011
Trekking in the Himalaya - March, 2011
Conservation of Marine Diversity in India - February, 2011
Plant native trees this monsoon - January, 2011
Human Elephant Conflict - December, 2010
Conservation and Development in Emerging India - November, 2010
"WILL ANIMALS ADAPT TO ANOTHER HABITAT........ - October, 2010
Responsible Tourism- Way forward to conservation? - September, 2010
Vulture Conservation in India - August, 2010
Plant a tree (trees) this monsoon - June, 2010
Role of Urban Birds - April, 2008
"Role of Urban Birds" - April, 2008
GM Foods and Bio-diversity - March, 2008
Taking Responsibility for One's Carbon Emissions - February, 2008
Ecological Security - January, 2008
The Himalayan Musk Deer - November, 2007
Urban Wildlife - October, 2007
Disappearing Tigers: Taking Stock - August, 2007
Garbage littered on our Streets - July, 2007
Bear Conservation nad Protection - June, 2007
Role of Captive Elephants in wildlife conservation - May, 2007
Endangered Animals of Sikkim - April, 2007
Citizen Participation in Environmental Issues - March, 2007
Vulture crisis in India - January, 2007
City Parks and Biodiversity - December, 2006
Why is bird census important? - November, 2006
Shooting Wildlife with a Camera - October, 2006
Rain Harvesting - September, 2006
Environmental Education - July, 2006
Tribal Bill - June, 2006
Trekking in the Himalaya Region - May, 2006
Trekking in the Himalayas - May, 2006
Coastal Wildlife - April, 2006
MARINE BIOLOGY - March, 2006
Atmospheric Brown Cloud - February, 2006
Tiger Census - January, 2006
Tiger Task Force Report - December, 2005
Marine Ecosystems Chat dated 18 November 2005 - November, 2005
Coral Reefs - October, 2005
Global Warming - September, 2005
Tourism and Wildlife - August, 2005
Environment Education - July, 2005
Wild Elephants - May, 2005
Tiger Census - April, 2005
Enforcement of Wildlife Act and the Common Man - January, 2005
Crane Migration - November, 2004
Migratory birds of India - October, 2004
Offences Against Wildlife - September, 2004
Man Animal Conflict - August, 2004
Recent Amendments to the Wildlife Act - July, 2004
Is there a case for keeping large mammals in zoos? - June, 2004
Captive elephant management - May, 2004
Conservation of seaturtles - April, 2004
Asiatic Lion - March, 2004
Plight of lesser animals - February, 2004
Mangroves of India - January, 2004
DEER AND ANTELOPE - November, 2003
PHEASANTS - October, 2003
Amphibians - September, 2003
Chat on Butterflies - Our Natural Gardeners - April, 2003
Chat on Asian Elephant - January, 2003
Chat on Migratory Birds - December, 2002
Chat on Snakes - November, 2002
Chat on Rare Birds - August, 2002
Chat on Environmental Issues - July, 2002


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