MSc program in Wildlife Biology and Conservation
The conservation of India's wild biological diversity critically depends on professionally designing and managing conservation areas in the government and other domains. There have been enviable financial and other investments in conservation by the Indian Government, local communities, multilateral aid agencies and NGOs. However, a major impediment to effective conservation has been the lack of professionals who can design, implement and monitor conservation grounded in sound science. The goal of this course is to address this impediment.
The course is offered by a consortium of renowned institutions with varied expertise, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of conservation. It is administered by the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengalooru (www.ncbs.res.in), and the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS), Bengalooru (www.wildlife.in), with funding from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), New York (www.wcs.org), one of the largest conservation organizations in the world. The course is affiliated to the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Mumbai.
The faculty includes eminent academicians and practitioners in different fields of conservation, drawn from leading institutions in India and other countries.
Eligibility for admission
The course is offered once in two years, starting from July 2004. Admission is now open to the next batch, beginning in July 2008. Indian nationals, who have completed their graduation in any subject or are in the final year of graduation with an aggregate of atleast 50% in core subjects or its equivalent, are eligible to apply. The upper age limit for candidates is 35 years as on July 1st 2008.
To apply for a hall ticket, please fill in the online application form available on the NCBS website. Please ensure that all required fields are filled in. Candidates should appear for a written entrance to be held on December 9th, 2007, in test centres across India. The written test would assess the analytical and quantitative abilities (statistics and mathematics at a +2 level), knowledge of basic biology and wildlife, awareness and interest in current affairs and conservation issues, and ability to communicate in English. The test may consist of multiple choice questions and essays. Those short-listed from the entrance test will be invited for a personal interview in Bengalooru, by the last week of May 2008. The results will be announced by the first week of June, and classes will commence in mid-July.
The course is organized into three semesters of course work and a final semester of field research project and thesis preparation.
The first semester will provide a theoretical and practical introduction to the diversity, distribution, biology and distribution of plant and animal life, with particular emphasis on India and higher vertebrates. It will also develop basic skills in mathematics and statistics, within the framework of practice of science.
The second semester will provide a theoretical grounding in population ecology, conservation biology, behavioral ecology, landscape ecology, conservation genetics and vegetation ecology. It would also provide hands-on training in the application of modern tools in conservation and such as remote sensing, GIS, and conservation genetics.
The third semester would address the historical, social and economic framework within which conservation operates. It would also develop communication and problem solving skills that are necessary to effectively practice conservation. In this semester the students would undergo an advanced optional course.
During the final semester the students would design and implement a field project, using the theoretical and practical skills that they learned.
There would be equal emphasis on providing theoritical understanding and developing practical skills. Classroom lectures, assignments, debates, group discussions and extended field visits are therefore given equal importance. Selected candidates will receive studentships to cover fees and living expenses. For more details on specific modules, please visit http://msc.wcsindia.org/ and http://www.ncbs.res.in/.
Last date for application
The online applications should be submitted latest by 5th October 2007.
For further details, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org