Ms. Varsha Rai, executive member of SMCRF participated in Advanced Field course on Ecology and Conservation-XTBG (AFEC-X). The six-week field course took place from 26 October to 6 December 2021 at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), Chinese Academy of Sciences (China), Yunnan, China. The course involved both students onsite and online from different countries in the world.
This program was an intensive course in academic skills and research methods, including literature searching, reading, PPT making and presenting skills, scientific paper writing, research design, sampling and data analysis, intended primarily for early-stage graduate students in Ecology and Conservation. A typical day included lectures, practical work in the field or laboratory, and opportunities for informal discussion. The lectures covered several topics on ecological research such as phylogenetics, animal movement, plant-animal interaction, climate change and so on. Participants took part in established long term field monitoring experiments and gained experience in independent project design. With guidance, participants developed and presented research proposals and conducted field-based data collection. The statistical program R was introduced and used for the data analysis throughout the course. The course concluded with a symposium, where participants presented results of course activities amongst their peers and instructors.