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The Nilgiris Field Learning Center (NFLC) -- for public viewing
Transcript of The Nilgiris Field Learning Center (NFLC) -- for public viewing
The NFLC is an interdisciplinary collaborative project of The Keystone Foundation, Tamil Nadu, India, and Cornell University. The NFLC provides transformative learning experiences for all participants -- community members, students, professionals and faculty -- who work alongside each other to engage in, give back, and benefit from the work done at the center. The NFLC brings together Cornell's strength in research and teaching with Keystone Foundation's experience and knowledge base built in two decades of work in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
The cornerstone of the NFLC is a semester-long engaged learning and research program for selected Cornell students and community members.
The Nilgiris Field Learning Center (NFLC)
Where Is the NFLC?
The NFLC is located in Kotagiri, a town in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR) that stretches across 3 Indian states and varied climatic zones. The NBR is rich in biodiversity and contains many unique ecosystems. It is home to large mammals such as the tiger, the long-tailed macaque, and the elephant, and includes 4 national parks and 2 wildlife sanctuaries.
The NBR has a large number of indigenous communities, most of them forest dwellers and hunter gatherers. These distinct ethnic groups have small populations and live in geographical concentrations. They include the only surviving hunter gatherers of the Indian subcontinent – the Cholanaikans in the New Amarambalam area. Apart from the Todas, a well-known pastoral group in the upper Nilgiris, other groups include the Paniyas, Irulas, Kurumbas, Kuruchiyans, Mullukurumbas, Adiyans and Alyars. Their unique cultural and social characteristics set the indigenous communities apart. The Keystone Foundation has worked with various groups over the last two decades.
There is intensive agriculture in the NBR, which includes traditional cropping systems, coffee and tea plantations, and vegetable farms that supply urban areas.
The NBR has many hamlets, villages, and towns, including Kotagiri, where the NFLC is located.
Villages and Towns
The NFLC Program
, 1 credit / Fall 2016 (CRP 3850 including jumpstart conversational Tamil prep)
15 Cornell credits, Spring 2016
, which will meet language, study abroad, research methods and distribution requirements for several majors (3 classes for 10 credits and independent study for 5 credits)
to be delivered as an Integrated curriculum structured around 4 research areas
around fieldwork related to research projects, field trips to various areas around NBR and the surrounding region
positions in Keystone
Who Are the
Learners & the Teachers?
The Keystone Team
The Cornell Team
City and Regional Planning
Nutritional Sciences, Global Health
Faculty Natural Resources
Founder and Director, Keystone Foundation
Governance and Livelihoods
Managing Trustee &
Your Cornell Peers
The NFLC Classroom
and Field Sites
With your sense of adventure, curiosity, and work ethic
are a junior or sophomore
have a 3.0 GPA
have completed the
For more information and application form go to
Application Deadline SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 (for Spring 2016)
Campus Relations, University
NFLC class of 2015 all dressed up for a wedding celebration in Kotagiri
From left to right: Jocelyn Lee, Biology and Society CAS, Meghan Furton, CEE Engineering, and Cole Norgaarden, URS-AAP /
Working on a NBR map puzzle in the main classroom at Mandaarae.
Seated from left to right: Murugaiyyan, Samsuda Khem-nguad (CALS) and Halamal. Anita Varghese, Keystone faculty standing in the back.
NFLC Class of 2015 on a walk in the Kotagiri Hills with Pratim Roy, Archana Sivaramakrishnan and Neema Kudva.