IGC FELLOW | Global Change Center
Ph.D. Student • Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
Advisors : Dr. Michael Sorice
Research Interests: Community-based conservation focusing on underrepresented groups, sustainable conservation, human-nature/wildlife interaction, participatory approaches
Being from an indigenous community and residing near vast forests teeming with diverse flora and fauna, Anu Rai's fascination with nature has always been an intrinsic part of her. This profound connection drives her unwavering commitment to work towards the dual goals of preserving nature and fostering the well-being of the communities intertwined with these precious ecosystems. With a diverse educational background, Anu is pursuing her passion for research and advocacy in the field of wildlife ecology and conservation. Anu recently completed her Master's degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida's School of Natural Resources and Environment, specializing in the Human Dimension Lab in Interdisciplinary Ecology. Prior to that, she conducted research during her undergraduate years at Kathmandu Forestry College, focusing on human-wildlife conflict and performing a socioeconomic assessment of Nepal's Eastern Himalayan region.
Building upon her prior educational and research experiences, she plans to delve deeper into her research on the roles and participation of women in buffer zone community forestry. Her work emphasizes intersectionality, gender-sensitive rules, and understanding the variables influencing women's engagement in conservation programs and decision-making processes. Throughout her academic journey, she has gained practical experience in forestry and wildlife management, particularly in remote areas of Nepal. These experiences have provided valuable insights into the challenges faced in these regions and have further motivated her to contribute towards sustainable solutions. Overall, her educational background, prior work and research experience, and prospective Ph.D. study combine to form a comprehensive foundation for her research and advocacy efforts in the field of natural resources conservation.
Through the IGC program, Anu plans to engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds, gaining invaluable insights into their perspectives on tackling global challenges. By embracing this inclusive environment, she hopes to expand her understanding of the research topic at hand, but also develop the necessary skills to excel as a researcher. Anu belives that the IGC IGEP program offers a remarkable opportunity to receive comprehensive, multidisciplinary training that will set her apart in a competitive job market. It is designed to equip her with the expertise needed to navigate the complex interface between human and natural systems. As she envisions her future career as a researcher working at the forefront of human-nature interactions, she feels that this program will be instrumental in preparing her for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Anu will merge ecological and social sciences in her Ph.D. research to devise innovative solutions for intricate environmental issues. Consequently, the IGC IGEP program, with its comprehensive coverage of both social and natural sciences, stands as the perfect avenue for her to pursue my academic and professional aspirations. By immersing herself in this enriching program, she aims to not only advance her own career but also contribute meaningfully to the well-being of marginalized communities and the sustainability of our planet.
In her leisure time, Anu finds solace in immersing herself in nature, exploring new places, and engaging in conversations where she can listen to captivating stories from diverse communities. Dancing, singing, and cooking are her therapeutic outlets, allowing her to express creativity and find inner peace. As an avid plant lover and nature admirer, she aspires to enhance her professional photography skills to capture and share the beauty and story that reside within the nature.