AMARTYA SAHA

1301 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33124 USA

E-mail: asaha at bio.miami.edu

 

OVERALL OBJECTIVES

Achieve a deeper understanding of ecohydrological processes in watershed ecosystems; contribute towards sustainable watershed management and conservation of riparian and aquatic ecosystems in the subtropics and tropics.

 

EDUCATION

Sept 2004 - present

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI, Department of Biology, Coral Gables, Florida, USA

Doctorate in Biology ( in progress, expected December 2008)

Areas of concentration: Ecohydrology, plant ecophysiology, nutrient cycling, wetlands.

 

August, 1997

INDIANA UNIVERSITY, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

Master of Science, Environmental Science.

Areas of concentration: Watershed ecosystem processes, hazardous waste management, wetland biogeochemistry

November, 1992

INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Bombay, India

Bachelor of Technology, Metallurgical Engineering

 

WORK EXPERIENCE

September 2003 to January 2004

Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Program coordinator and webmaster for the interdisciplinary NSF-IGERT program in Biomechanics.

 

Novermber 2003 to present

Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Programmer and data analysis for a landuse and watershed study in Valdivia, Chile.

 

October, 1997 to May, 2003

 

Morningstar, Chicago, Illinois

Programmer Analyst

Developed programs (FoxPro, C#) to access very large databases (FoxPro, SQL Server) and perform calculations and statistical analysis to supply financial data to various clients including the media, mutual fund companies and research institutions in a variety of formats.

Database administration and maintenance of production processes that send data files to clients on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

May, 1996 to September, 1996

Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Field Assistant

Conducted study examining Reproductive Success of Neotropical Migrant Songbirds under different Forest Management Practices in Yellowwood State Forest and Hoosier National Forest, Indiana.

June, 1993 to July, 1995

Academy of Development Science (ADS), Maharashtra, India.

ADS is an NGO who have been working since 1978 towards ecologically sustainable development and empowerment of the tribal communities in the foothills of the western ghats mountains in western India.

Project Staff, Watershed Restoration Program.

Surveyed Jambruk (District Raigad, India) watershed  for siting of masonry dam for water harvesting

 Implemented soil and water conservation measures along with local communities in the Shilar river watershed.

Research Fellow

Conducted two year study of succession of aquatic communities in the seasonal Shilar river; developed foundation of a biotic index for rapid assessment of water quality in the Western Ghats foothills of Maharashtra.

Conducted lab and field trials to evaluate two different composting techniques, one vermiculture based.

Assisted in indigenous fruit tree variety collection from different organizations and farmers; created a computer database for the Horticulture Gene Park as part of the Reforestation/Sustainable Income Generation projects

Illustrated technical publications on rice morphology, biological pest control and ethnobotany of bamboo and prepared conference exhibits for several projects of the Academy

 

Information Technology Skills

Database programming and design:  6 years working experience with DOS and Visual FoxPro, SQL Server, MS Access and VB front end development

Object oriented programming and application development – using FoxPro and C# .NET to create class libraries accessed by many users in Morningstar.

Structured Programming:  have written programs in Fortran 77 for engineering applications at I.I.T Bombay; have also written programs in Visual FoxPro for ecologists at the University of Illinois at Chicago to facilitate their data analysis, several of which have been published in scientific ecological journals. Also using IDL and Matlab for visualization of hydrological data and ecological modeling.

Geographic Information Systems: have created several Coverages and a Digital Elevation Model using ARC/INFO as part of a GIS for Tefft Nature Preserve, Indiana managed by The Nature Conservancy, Indiana.

Web development: have worked with HTML and Macromedia Dreamweaver to create webpages. Have also created XML files for clients and written DTDs for validation of the XML documents using Altova XMLSpy.

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

March, 2000 to

March, 2002

Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois

Guest Lecturer

Led discussions with an undergraduate class (Environmental Worldviews) about environmental problems in India and Nepal.

January, 1997 to

May,1997

School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

Associate Instructor

Assisted teaching a graduate level course (Applied Mathematics in Environmental Science) that used calculus for modeling ecological systems and environmental processes.

 

VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

February 2004 – July 2004

Parque Nacional de las Cataratas, Puerto Iguazu, Misiones, Argentina

Assisting in study of effect of nutrient additions on species composition in the subtropical Atlantic forest (mata atlantica).

August 2003 to January 2004

New England Aquarium, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Assisting aquarists in the Cold Marine, Temperate and Tropical Freshwater galleries; to get exposure to the systems that maintain water quality and flow conditions for diverse habitats within the above broad aquatic ecoregions

June 2003 to July 2003

Fairchild Tropical Garden, Coral Gables, Florida, USA

Scanning and readying data for online virtual herbarium of 100,000 specimens of plants from Florida and the Caribbean.. Assisted with creating data entry screens for entering plant species collection data into MS Access databases. Participated in an outplanting session for an endangered species, Tephrosia.

April 1998 to November 2000

Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois and the University of Illinois, Chicago, USA

Assisted with an ecological study on prairie ecosystems with the aim to create viable restoration methods.

January, 1993 to May, 1993

Sustainable Development Programme, Kodaikanal, India

Collected baseline water quality data and correlated that with land-use patterns in watersheds in  Palni Hills, Tamil Nadu, India.

August, 1991 to November, 1992

Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India

Organized reforestation program in catchment area of Vihar Lake, a water supply source for Greater Bombay Metropolitan Area

 

 

A brief statement of my broad interests and objectives:
My years of traveling and staying in the Himalayas and Western ghats mountains of India and Nepal has inspired me to work towards safeguarding the ecological conditions for all life (human included) in these increasingly imperiled regions. After completion of my undergraduate degree in engineering, I worked with an NGO (ADS, see under work experience section) in an integrated watershed management program for two years. Feeling the need for a foundation in environmental processes, I obtained an MS in environmental science from Indiana University, with coursework on hydrology, soil science, fate and transport modeling, waste treatment and management, wetland and aquatic ecology and chemistry.
 
Due to personal reasons that restricted me to Chicago, I took up a programming position with Morningstar, a leading global investment research firm. One benefit of this experience has been gaining a facility working with huge databases and developing efficient programs, that have to compute statistical and mathematical tasks on dozens of fields and millions of rows of data, all in a window of a few hours so as to enable the newspapers get their daily data.Data Quality is critical. 

 

I am presently undertaking research in ecohydrology towards my PhD dissertation. My long term goals are two-fold:

1) to contribute towards an understanding of watershed processes in the subtropics and tropics, where a systematic and coordinated

    research effort is just beginning (considering the vast heterogeneity and variability of systems there).

2) be involved in the development of region-specific sustainable watershed management plans and in the implementation of such programs, given the fast pace of degradation in all parts of the tropics.

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