Dr. Neal Phillip and Prof. Paramita Sen received a US State Department Public Diplomacy Grant to Increase Climate Change Awareness and to Build Partnerships in India

Prof. Paramita Sen and Dr. Neal Phillip, Chairperson and Professor, both of the Department of Chemistry, Earth Sciences, and Environmental Sciences at the CUNY Bronx Community College, will serve as the main PIs of a US State Department Public Diplomacy grant administered by the US Consulate in Hyderabad, India.

Prof. Sen and Dr. Phillip have proposed the CUNY- India Climate Collaborative (CICC) to increase climate monitoring and climate change awareness in three states in India: Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. They will host Collective Social Learning and Thematic Communication workshops in the local communities with University partners in the three states to increase climate change awareness. Up to 5,200 high school students, undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, teachers, and the general population are expected to participate in the workshops.

During these workshops, Dr. Phillip and Prof. Sen also plan to demonstrate on the use of mobile Vernier backpack weather stations developed by NOAA-CREST and on the use of Picarro Greenhouse cavity rign down technology in climate change monitoring efforts.

Through the CICC, they also will install an automatic solar powered weather station in each of the three states. The weather stations will measure conventional weather parameters such as temp, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity, precipitation, solar radiation, UV radiation and additionally, air quality and soil moisture. The data will be made available to stakeholders in India and elsewhere through IBM’s Weather Underground network.

The PIs plan to travel to in India in the middle of September 2022 for two weeks to  deliver this program to the various audiences. Dr. Reza Khanbilvardi, CREST Institute Director and Dr. Shaklila Merchant, Associate Director of NOAA-CESSRST will accompany Dr. Phillip and Prof. Sen to further build upon the partnerships established by Prof. Sen and Dr. Phillip and others in CREST Institute and to establish new partnerships centered around NOAA’s mission. Upon their return to the United States, Dr. Phillip and Prof. Sen will host virtual webinars to continue the efforts they started in India.