India IFE – Spring 2021

With over one billion people moving into the middle class over the next century, India’s decisions, successes, and failures make it a game-changer for global sustainable development. Global environmental challenges are already palpable here.

  • Urbanization: The cities are already massive and choking, but they will almost double in size over the next few decades to accommodate the hundreds of millions of rural poor immigrating to urban opportunity.
  • Water: Wells and rivers are running dry and farms are being abandoned for lack of water, yet more than 200 million people still lack water access.
  • Energy: India contributes only 4% of global greenhouse gases, but only 60% of residents have adequate energy access, so that will change as India gets wealthy and increases energy use by 60 percent by 2030—it must try to do that without busting the global carbon budget.
  • Agriculture: To end malnutrition and provide middle class diets will require doubling or tripling of food production, but arable land is already polluted, degraded, and shrinking from industry, urbanization, and drought.
  • Climate: Global warming is not debated here; the impacts are visible in disrupted agriculture, changed monsoons, and heat stroke.

Solutions and innovations abound. India’s universities produce highly educated and motivated workers with enormous respect and expectations for the modern institutions of business and career advancement. And the world’s largest most complex democracy is also the world’s largest reservoir of diversity, compassion, hope, beauty, and grace. Solutions found here will show the way for both developing and developed nations in the Anthropocene. As India goes, so goes the world. Hence, if you want to see the challenges of the Anthropocene and learn how to solve them, study in India.

Join us! We will visit Delhi to experience one of the world’s largest and most rapidly growing cities. Then, we train to Jodhpur, a small town in Rajasthan known as the Blue City, where we will work with our partner, JBF Water Resource Center, in one of the most water stressed areas of the world. In both locations, we will meet with experts, visit project sites, and tour historic places and cultural icons.

Virginia Tech semester:  Spring 2021
IFE Dates: tbd
Faculty Lead:  Bruce Hull
Program Fee:  $3300 (does not include graduate tuition or international airfare)
Registration Deadline:  January 1, 2021 (as part of NR 5114 or NR 5954)

CLiGS International Field Experiences provide opportunities for graduate students and professionals to travel and gain international sustainability experience in rapidly developing regions of the world. Offered as part of a graduate level course through Virginia Tech’s Master of Natural Resources degree program (NR 5114 – Global Issues in Natural Resources), participants earn three graduate credits from Virginia Tech for their participation in the course and project.  The course is conducted online, except for the ten-day fieldwork element conducted in India.  Graduate credits earned through this project can be applied to the Graduate Certificate in Global Sustainability, and the online and global formats of the Master of Natural Resources degree.