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Why we do what we do.

We are in an age that assumes the narrowing trends of specialization to be logical, natural, and desirable. Consequently, society expects all earnestly responsible communication to be crisply brief. Advancing science has now discovered that all the known cases of biological extinction have been caused by overspecialization, whose concentration of only selected genes sacrifices general adaptability.

 

Thus the specialist’s brief for pinpointing brevity is dubious. In the meantime, humanity has been deprived of comprehensive understanding. Specialization has bred feelings of isolation, futility, and confusion in individuals. It has also resulted in the individual’s leaving responsibility for thinking and social action to others. Specialization breeds biases that ultimately aggregate as international and ideological discord, which in turn leads to war.

- Buckminster Fuller

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About Us

Earth CoLab originated in 2016 from our shared aspiration to establish a collaborative space where our unconventional ideas, often deemed incompatible with traditional institutions, could flourish. Having worked for years together running a center for island ecology in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, we recognized the need for an equitable creative common ground that fosters our diverse interests.

 

Our vision  now extends to building a platform for practitioners whose work explores the intricate dynamics between nature and society, aiming to cultivate a community driven by curiosity in the way we move and inhabit the world.

The Team

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Tasneem Khan

Tasneem will do anything to avoid wearing shoes...
She has spent the last 15 years facilitating interdisciplinary initiatives in the fields of ecology, conservation, education and science communication. Her formal training in marine zoology and practice in the development of experiential learning pedagogies translated into eight years spent as director of the Andaman and Nicobar islands Environmental Team. Tasneem has managed operations for the Diva Andaman live-aboard in Thailand & set up the Vessel for Inquiry - leading dive expeditions and marine learning programs in the Phang Nga Bay, Mergui archipelago and Similan Islands. Her photography and writing are visible across scientific and popular publications, book contributions and in the development of learning materials. Beyond the scope of research and field education, she believes that learning and working across subject boundaries is fundamental. Sailing, diving, writing, image making and exploring are the binding factors in all her endeavours.

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Savita Vijayakumar

Savita can be lured into anything if one uses a good book at bait ... 
She is curious about how ideas of 'nature' and 'society' are produced and connected to one another. By drawing tools from the field of  political ecology, she examines the relationship between knowledge and power in the process of place-making that depicts the oceans as a frontier(s). For many years, she has worked on public policies which affect livelihoods across fisheries, agrarian, and forest ecologies. She is interested in the locations of political-agency and the production of resistance mounted by coastal societies. More broadly, her work speaks to the imaginaries of people's relation to places that are at the cusp of land and sea. At Earth CoLab she specifically works on conceptualising and delivering the learning programmes, to which she brings perspectives on human geography, political economy and political ecology. 

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Umeed Mistry

Umeed would trade anything for a set of gills...
Initially having explored the world of academics through Marine Biology, Umeed realised that his heart and mind were happier while submerged. He has spent the last 25 years scuba diving, teaching and furthering the spirit of biophilia through his area of expertise. Professionally teaching as a PADI staff instructor, Umeed now conducts specialised underwater photography courses designed to address both ecology and photography. His imagery ranges from fine art to scientific documentation – his practice draws one’s eye to aquatic systems and the detail within. Umeed has applied this combination of skills and interests across fields – with numerous popular publications, book and film contributions, exhibitions, educational material and in the setting up of a marine research dive facility on the Andaman Islands.

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Hayat Sadri

Hayat will ensure a fabulous meal and music regardless of where one is...

An accomplished musician, Hayat has spent several years introducing and teaching music to children. Her unique manner of developmental interaction impacts pedagogical approaches. A certified PADI dive Instructor, for the last six years Hayat has expanded her interest and love for the ocean, through dive education and training. Her strong administrative and organisational skills, along with a deep interest in wildlife have made her an integral part of many marine education programs, researcher dive training initiatives, scientific diving module development and citizen science efforts.

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