Tuesday, March 06, 2007


TRAINING: IFRI Training – Fall, 2007

The International Forestry Resources and Institutions Research Program (IFRI) is holding its Training Program at Indiana University in the fall of 2007 (From August 27 through mid-October). The IFRI program is an interdisciplinary, cross-national effort to explore the factors affecting forest conditions at the local level, especially those that influence a community’s relationship to its forest.

Both popular and scientific concern over deforestation is at a historically high level. Yet standard macro-level explanations for deforestation such as population growth, poverty, conversion of forest to agriculture, and the penetration of global markets do not consistently account for the variation found in forest condition and forest use at the micro (local) level. This nine-week course explores theoretical and methodological approaches for exploring human-environment interactions. It focuses on community level forest management, and the interaction of institutional, socioeconomic and ecological factors that influence sustainability. It provides training in data collection methods, including participatory techniques, individual and group interviews, and forest measurement. Students apply their training in field research in a forest community in Southern Indiana. The course specifically exposes students to IFRI. The methods used are drawn from the social, natural, and physical sciences in order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of local-level processes. Students who undergo training also gain first hand exposure to the unique IFRI database and learn how to enter data and use queries to create datasets.

This course is designed for graduate students who seek to learn theories and methods relevant for social-environmental research, and particularly the approaches of an active, ongoing research program applicable to the human dimensions of environmental change. Students should be aware that this is an intensive course scheduled for the first nine weeks of the semester.

As a Visiting Scholar in this Indiana University training program, there are several practical issues you need to consider. Among them are the costs of the program. There are two types of costs associated with the IFRI training: (i) Training Fees; and (ii) Living Expenses. The total of these two costs come to approximately USD $12,200.

You also need to think about applications for Visas. It is important to notify us as soon as possible about your participation in this year’s training in order for Nicole Todd (stodd@indiana.edu) to begin making arrangements for your Visa and housing.

On some occasions in the past, we have been able to waive the training fee, but we do not have local funds to cover the actual training costs.

As you apply for funding, we really do want you to include the training fee as part of your application since we do face real costs every fall and the training fee is very important to our being able to offer this program. Please notify Nicole Todd (stodd@indiana.edu) by April 1, 2007 if you plan to send a trainee for this fall’s IFRI training course.

More information on the International Forestry Resources and Institutions Research Program can be found at http://www.indiana.edu/~ifri/.

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