National Center for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR)
Since 2013 School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University has been associating with the National Center for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) to carry out research at the Arctic region. Himadri, India’s arctic research station is situated at the international research station is situated at Ny alesund which is located in a small island in the Svalbard archipelago.
All the faculties are actively involving in Arctic environmental research. Dr. Mahesh Mohan has participated 4 times in the Arctic Expedition since 2013 and he was the team leader in the year 2014. As of today 7 research scholars of the department (Gopikrishnan V.G., Bineesh M.B., Abdul Shukkur, Kannan V.M., Joice K. Joseph, John Richard Thomas, Arun Babu V) has taken part in the Arctic expedition and conducted various experiments at the Indian research station Himadri. Dr. C.T. Aravindakumar, Professor of this school is a member of the committee responsible for the evaluation and selection of the projects and team members for the Arctic expedition.
The research programme involved the environmental monitoring of the Kongs fjord and Kross fjords, microbes and climate change in the arctic region. One of the major thrust areas of research programme is the mercury geochemistry in the Arctic region. Mercury being a transboundary pollutant has paved its way even to the poles. The biogeochemical cycle of mercury is highly complex and studies relating to the fate and transport of mercury in the area is quite less. Apart from this the school has now actively involved in the monitoring of emerging pollutants like microplastics, POPs etc. in this pristine ecosystem and has plans to expand its research into other relevant areas.
Technological Collaborations and Link up
The school has established good network of academic collaboration with many national and international organizations, institutions and industries, which help in interdisciplinary research, training, consultancy programmes and exchange of information, faculty and students. The publications thus produced stand as testimony of such collaborative works. The school is getting financial and technical support from various national and international agencies like KSCSTE, UGC, DST, MoES, MoEF, ISRO, WWF, UNDP, University of Kuopio (Finland), and ITC (Netherlands), Brown University (USA), Calfornia Institute of Technology, IISc, KFRI, CESS for operating projects, establishing infrastructural facilities and to carryout research in various disciplines of environmental science. The School has also established linkages with various R&D departments and NGOs of the country.