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Earthwatch at 50: Monika Sah's story

A lake belongs to many, from the people who live alongside it to the plankton who dwell in its waters, and the birds, plants and animals on its banks. After receiving funding from the Neville Shulman Earthwatch Awards, Monika Sah conducted a thorough and extensive piece of fieldwork aimed at developing a conservation-based management plan for Bhalswa Lake in Delhi.

Photo Credit: Sam G, Unsplash

Her work aimed to capture the condition and status of the lake, identify key problems in its system and explore and record the biodiversity of the site. She also aimed to identify key stakeholders and dependent communities to understand how they were affected by the water quality.

Recording the lake Monika organised a series of field investigations, surveys and walks, along with GIS mapping for satellite imagery. She regularly tested the water quality, counted birds, and assessed phytoplankton and zooplankton. This was used to create a detailed conservation management plan for Bhalswa.

“I experienced the most constructive period of my life, where I gained a lot of knowledge about my field of study whilst simultaneously managing a variety of tasks,” says Monika.“I gained experience on various issues at different stages during the course of the surveys and preparation of my report.“The study has helped me discover my real interests and academic ambitions.”

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