Photo Credit - Agyeya Shukla

Yogita Shukla

Founder and Principal Scientist

Re-invigorating Science for Himalayas (RiSHi) & Wo-Men Geospatial Coterie (WGC)

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Let your imagination flow, dream a lot and follow your intuition.

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am an interdisciplinary professional with a core passion towards scientific research and technology. I have diverse experience of over 22 years in Environment as well as Geospatial Information Science focusing on Climate Change, Natural Resource Management, Energy Management, Rural and Urban Development.

As a dedicated researcher, my scientific research focuses on understanding the impact of climate variability in high altitude Himalayas above 3000 meters using geospatial techniques.

As an active technology enthusiast for geospatial information technologies working closely with government department and ministries for adoption of these technologies in national development programmes such as AMRUT, Smart Cities, DI-LRMP, Digital India etc.

I am an advisor to a few geospatial companies for market research and geospatial technology research.

While doing all the above I also transfer the knowledge and learning acquired through my work to the next generation and teach Remote Sensing and Environment to B Tech students.

With aspirations to contribute in unraveling earth system dynamics vis-à-vis human systems particularly in reference to climate change, adaptation and mitigation, natural resource conservation, land use and land cover changes and urbanization, my focus is towards building bridges and connecting the dots between science, technology and its uptake by the communities.

Most importantly I am a full-time mother to twin teenage sons and I am happiest being so.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

The quest to know the reason behind, the why has always been there in my consciousness as far as I remember and it was this Inquisitiveness and quest to know both about the outside world and the inside world led me to the scientific research discipline of climate and environmental science I am pursuing.

I feel truly blessed that my journey as scientific researcher and spiritual researcher is very much intertwined.

The initial inquisitiveness in high school led me to explore the scientific domain and like everyone else, there was either medical or engineering to get into.

I was inclined towards medical field and it was more to find out the cure for diseases then to be a practitioner.

Life, however has different plans and I could not get through entrance selections for medical. There was the other way, the paid seat, but not for someone like me who wanted to earn it. My parents were ready to invest for paid seat but I wasn't.

Half heartedly I enrolled myself for regular Bachelors program in Science Biology stream.

It was for my masters that I came across the new and emerging discipline of Environmental Sciences and felt that it is my true calling that I only have entrance for this programme.

I got into Masters of Environmental Sciences and from there my journey to Indian Institute of Remote Sensing and thereafter led me to my research in Climate and Environmental Sciences.

In 2011 when I received the DST Women Scientist Fellowship award to conduct research in high altitude Himalayas, I knew this is my calling. Since then I am working on creating a research centre focusing on Science and Research on Himalayas.

 

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

The support from family was always there. My parents gave me the wings to fly. The challenge however was of ill health as I survived 3 near fatal diseases and got auto immune disorder.

The other challenges were because I defied the conventional methods and tried to create new paths. The challenges that life posed me were actually opportunities turned around and thanks to these I could create new models for science research entrepreneurship.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

Looking back at younger 'Me' I feel that if I had better exposure of international research possibilities, the horizons to fully realise my potential would have been at a different platform altogether.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

Making a difference in the lives of every living being, by unraveling earth system dynamics vis-à-vis human systems particularly in reference to climate change, adaptation and mitigation, natural resource conservation, land use and land cover changes and urbanization and focus towards building bridges and connecting the dots between science, technology and its uptake by the communities.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Let your imagination flow, dream a lot and follow your intuition.

INSPIRATION

A woman who walks in purpose, doesn't have to chase people or opportunities. Her light causes people and opportunities to pursue her.

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