Ecological Informatics (EI) is a trans-disciplinary subject that integrates ecology, Computational Science, informatics and social sciences, in order to improve our understanding of ecological processes and expand socio-ecological theory to integrate the Earth’s natural systems,human values, human health and well-being. A suite of disciplines – ecology, informatics, Computational Science, ecological economics, anthropology, sociology and demography constitute EI. M.Phil. EI is a one-year, full time programme that adopts a credit system. Students earn their degree by completing 30 credit points, split among course work (19), seminar (1) and thesis (10). During the first semester the students will be guided through core modules comprising advanced ecology, mathematics, informatics, statistics, demography, anthropology, sociology and research methodology. Upon successful completion of the core modules they will be encouraged to undertake their research in any leading research organization within India. The previous batches of students had carried out their research at Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, ISRO laboratories (Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Dehradun and National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad) and The French Institute, Pondicherry. Submission of project report as a thesis is an essential requisite for the completion of the course.
Upon successful completion, the students will develop a holistic understanding of the relevant concepts in ecological sciences, be competent to use computational tools to analyse, understand key theoretical, methodological and practical issues that underpin the flow of environmental information from source to consumer, appreciate the contribution that a range of scientific and social disciplines have in understanding and constructing environmental information pathways, demonstrate competence in the substantive areas covered by the course and develop skills that they can use in careers. The course is an ideal stepping-stone towards a doctoral research fellowship or a research career in ecological sciences.