While AIT classrooms and office spaces have remained empty and closed to visitors since March, the RRCAP has recently welcomed a cohort of seven remote-based graduate student interns to spend the summer months learning about climate change via our centre’s work from their homes. This diverse group of young professionals from different backgrounds were selected following our ongoing efforts to extend opportunities to AIT graduate students and a recent collaboration with the Central European University including RRCAP as an institution welcoming remote interns from the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master's in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (MESPOM).
Interns are working to prepare detailed Climate Fact-sheets to support the development of evidence-based Climate action projects by countries in Asia and the Pacific seeking access to climate financing. An intern will also support with preparations for the upcoming virtual Youth Energy Academy (stay tuned for more updates on this program).
Meet our remote-based interns below:
Thilani Lavanga Navaratne is an academic by profession, and has been lecturing at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka under the Department of Business Economics since the year 2015. She has completed Masters of Science in Rural and Regional Development Planning from AIT’s Department of Development and Sustainability and also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Diplomacy and World Affairs (BIDTI, Sri Lanka) and a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration (Business Economics) from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka. Her research interests are in the fields of Development Economics, Sustainability and Climate Change.
Aung Si Thu Thein is a freelance environmental consultant providing services on environmental impact assessment, initial environmental examination and environmental management plan preparation in Myanmar. He has more than two and half-years experiences in one of the leading environmental consulting firms in Myanmar with regards to impact assessments, providing mitigation measures, preparing environmental management plans, environmental monitoring plans, conducting stakeholder meetings and public consultations, communicating with different governmental departments, clients and local people. Aung holds a graduate degree in Natural Resource Management from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. He has secured a Bachelor degree in Forestry and Post Graduate Diploma in Geographic Information Systems from the Dagon University, Myanmar.
Karuna Budhathoki is a second-year master’s student in the Natural Resources Management Program, at the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. She completed her undergraduate in Environmental Science from Kathmandu University, Nepal following her passion for conservation science, climate change action and environmental sustainability are concomitant to her academic pursuits.
Avi Jakhmola is a first-year candidate for the European Joint Master’s in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the Central European University (Hungary), the University of the Aegean (Greece), and the University of Manchester (UK), on an Erasmus Mundus scholarship from the EU.
Having grown up on tea plantations in the mountains of North-Eastern India, he holds a B.Sc. (Honours) in Physics. He has previously interned with Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi, and the Aam Aadmi Party in policy and advocacy roles, alongside engaging in space and atmospheric science research as an undergraduate.
His primary interests include studying energy and development in the climate change context, and also enjoys dabbling in environmental governance and philosophy. He aspires to work in trans-disciplinary domains, combining knowledge from different areas to formulate scientific, evidence-driven solutions to address pressing socio-environmental problems. He is an avid reader, and enjoys photography and hiking.
"Nature is painfully calling out for help and we owe it our immediate deep-rooted attention. Melissa Pradhan is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Climate Change and Sustainable Development at AIT, Melissa has previously worked in coordinating various projects with lead government officials in Asia and the Pacific region. She is also an advocate for various social issues including good governance, child nutrition, plastic pollution, and wildlife conservation. While she heartily acknowledges the global efforts being placed to reverse the detrimental outcomes of anthropogenic activities, Melissa believes the focus of these efforts is prejudiced towards human lives without acknowledging the fundamental need for wildlife and biodiversity. She aims to bring this biased perspective to a balance. "
Melissa Shrestha is a recent graduate from AIT with field expertise on Regional and Rural Development Planning. She secured a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health from Asian University for Women, Bangladesh. She has garnered international experience working at renowned organizations such as Ochanomizu University, Grameen Bank and WEDU (Investing in Women Leading the Change). She is skilled in the literature review, systematic meta-analysis, qualitative and quantitative research, fieldwork data collection, qualitative/quantitative data analysis, community engagement, content writing, leading diverse teams, communication and marketing, educating and spreading awareness among vulnerable groups. Currently, she is working as a founder of Metrokheti, which is a startup business in Kathmandu promoting the concept of urban farming.