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D. Kavitha Rao


  • Graduate of University of Maryland, College Park in Environmental Chemistry

  • National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Fellow Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii Summer, 1996

  • Researched "The Carbonate Chemistry of Checker Reef"

  • Student at School for International Training, Nepal Spring 1995

  • Student Conservation Association Resource Assistant Volunteer, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire Summer 1994

  • Maryland Public Interest Research Group Earth Day Coordinator, Spring 1993

Kavitha Rao's studies and adventures in most of her adult life have concentrated on two main interests: travel and the outdoors. Her love for the outdoors lead her to pursue a degree in environmental science. Initially an environmental engineering major, she switched to chemistry to obtain more hands on experience. like her extensive research on the chemistry of freshwater and seawater in Hawaii and at her own university in Maryland.

Kavitha's studies in the hard sciences, though rewarding, left her yearning for more. So she began taking anthropology courses and traveled to Nepal for a semester abroad. While in Nepal she focused on religious folktales and customs. She became fascinated by connections she saw between different peoples around the world, and gained a deep appreciation for the wealth of knowledge to be gained from interactions with different cultures.

Throughout her studies, Kavitha has maintained a belief that cultural studies are essentially intertwined in environmental studies. Stories of peoples being displaced or killed off of their native lands for the sake of creating national parks or sanctuaries trouble her. She believes a solution must be found whereby humans can coexist with the land without damaging it or their heritage.

Lately her focus has been on sustainable development and agriculture. She is currently working on an organic farm in Oregon and learning various gardening techniques and permaculture. She would like to research various indigenous farming techniques from around the world to see which methods would be the most sustainable for different parts of the world and different diets. She has also begun researching different solar alternatives in hopes that some of these technologies could help combat the deforestation that is plaguing many parts of the globe.

In her free time, Kavitha enjoys hiking, camping, road-tripping, scuba-diving, seeing live music, hanging out with friends, and cooking.

 
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