Applied Environmental Research Foundation
Volunteers and interns

Do you want to do something for the environment? Do want to make a difference in Conservation? Do you want to get hands-on experience?

The Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) aims to create a platform for young and innovative researchers, practitioners as well as concerned individuals and groups who are committed to contribute their efforts towards sustainable development. Opportunities to participate in our work are available for researchers, students, volunteers and corporate employees.

The AERF provides opportunities for enthusiastic students to work on our projects. We also run a workshop called “A Future in Conservation” for students who wish to pursue a career in conservation. If you wish to participate in some of our activities, fill up this form and send it to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and tell us what your interests are and how you would like to help.
Corporate employees refer to our Business and Biodiversity page

Work with the AERF Research Team: We are regularly on the look-out for qualified, independent and committed individuals with good research acumen, aptitude to work in conservation and a flair for writing and developing new projects. If you think you can play an active role in our team, send us your updated resume and a short write-up on your thoughts on issues of conservation, biodiversity and development.
Send your detailed resume along with a concept note to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Our Interns and Volunteers:  

Susanne Wirth: A geography student from University of Tuebingen, Germany. Susanne got interested in working with AERF due to the organization's diversified portfolio and its special presence in rural renewable energy sector. During her six week stint at AERF, Susanne visited the VESP test project village- Kusarpeth from Velhe Block of Pune district and discussed the issues related to Natural Resource Management and energy needs of the communities with the villagers. She also contributed to the documentation and proposal writing work of AERF. Susanne wishes to work with AERF as liaisoning support from Germany in future.
Susanne Wirth
Supriya Kulkarni and Prerana Devsthali: arts students from Mumbai, volunteered to work with AERF for some days in April 2007. They visited Devrukh and surrounding villages in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra to get the feel of the work done by AERF.
Supriya Kulkarni and Prerana Devsthali

Dominic Leo:
A post graduate student from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Chembur, Mumbai worked with AERF, Pune in April 2007 as a part of his block placement. He worked with AERF team in Alibaug tehsil of Raigad district of Maharashtra for Development of Decentralized Bio-fuel Resource Centres project. He appreciated the project and work being done by AERF in the area through his report submitted to the organization.
Volker Pruefert: A student of Geography from the University of Cologne, Germany. Volker works as a professional cameraman for a private channel in Germany. After visiting AERF, he expressed his wish to offer his skills in film making for promoting the remote village electrification project of AERF.Weagreed on the fact that documentary films could become an excellent PR strategy for promotion of renewable energy in rural India as well as for promoting AERF's mission among the donor agencies.
Volker Annual Report
Dipak Sawant: An Environmental Science student from Bharati Vidyapeeth , Pune has been doing his dissertation work with AERF since last six months . Dipak has completed a case study to assess the potential impact of biomass gasifier technology on local biodiversity in a pilot village selected under VESP near Pune. Dipak is a keen bird watcher and initiated a study on vultures in Kusarpeth.

Dipak Sawant

Daya Thakur, Ketaki Late and Diya Chaudary worked as a team in undertaking fieldwork and collecting data for an Environment Impact Assessment project for a proposed wind farm in the district of Nagar in Maharashtra. This team of students learnt fieldwork, data collection techniques and the use of equipment with the guidance of AERF research staff.

Diya Chowdhari, Ketaki Late  & Daya Thakur
Apoorv Bishnoi: a masters student of Natural Resource Management at the TERI University spent two months with the AERF on the Energy and Biodiversity Programme helping with fieldwork, data collection, analysis and reporting writing. He stayed in a village for 2 weeks and undertook fieldwork to assess the potential of Madhuca indica for bio-fuel production.
Aproov Bishnoi
Sandrine Duchaine: an engineering student from France spent two months with AERF supporting various activities under the Energy and Biodiversity Programme. She visited all AERF field sites and joined AERF team in setting up decentralized bio-fuel centers and helped in undertaking resource assessments.
Sandrine Duchaine
Tessa Rawson: a student of Flinders University, Australia volunteered to work with AERF for a month. Her work primarily focused on the Sacred Grove: Biodiversity and comparison study of Vashi and Kulye in the Maharashtra Region, an AERF Project. Her study included the assessment of the present biodiversity, gain better understanding of the regeneration process and to compare and contrast fenced and non-fenced sacred groves in terms of restoration management techniques
Tessa Rawson

Mr. Rahul Ramachandani Siddharth Natarajan and Ravish Ralhan: managment students,  worked as interns  for six weeks at AERF under the Development of Corporate Citizenship program of S P Jain Institute of Management Research , Mumbai. During their internship they worked on AERF's project of decentralised biodiesel resource centers. They developed business plan for this rural enterprise and contributed in formulation of a communication strategy to spread AERF's work effectively among the funding agencies and corporate world.

Mr. Rahul Ramachandani, Siddharth Natarajan and Ravish Ralhan
Ishani Pruth: a masters student from the TERI University spent a week with the AERF to study social and ecological aspects of sacred groves in Konkan and compare them with religious sites in the United States.
Ishani Purti

Vinita Nagar: A Postgraduate from International Institute of Management, New Delhi Vinita spent four weeks at AERF for developing a Management Information System (MIS) for effective monitoring of project work as well as reporting. At the end of her internship, she handed over virtual MIS- Central Virtual Repository which can be accessed and updated irrespective of one's location and offers great degree of flexibility for the management in reporting and project management. Vinita Nagar
Rajwardhan Bhamre: A student of environmental science department at Pune University, Rajwardhan was interested in studying the supply chain of biodiesel resource centers established by AERF. He carried out extensive field work in Mhasala and Mangaon block of Raigad district to create awareness among the marginal farmers about the biodiesel resource center during his internship. His contribution helped AERF in expanding seed procurement center network in other villages. Rajwardhan Bhamre
Trupti Satpute: A postgraduate student in environmental sciences from Pune, during her internship Trupti made serious effort to understand the need to integrate biodiversity in the business decisions. She conducted series of interviews with company managers in and around Pune to know the current domains of activities of CSR departments. She networked hard with these companies to inform them about the business and biodiversity program of AERF. Trupti Satpute
Hemant Angarkar: Hemant and Mazoor are post graduate students from Vasantdada Sugar Institute(VSI) Pune studying environmental science. They were interested in the energy and biodiversity program of AERF. During their internship , they prepared village energy profiles of 20 hamlets from Karjat block to understand the fuelwood dependence of the tribals for satisfying their energy needs. Hemant Angarkar
Manzoor: Mazoor and Hemant are post graduate students from Vasantdada Sugar Institute(VSI) Pune studying environmental science. They were interested in the energy and biodiversity program of AERF. During their internship , they prepared village energy profiles of 20 hamlets from Karjat block to understand the fuelwood dependence of the tribals for satisfying their energy needs. Manzoor
Nikhil Mirashi and Deepti Gupta: postgraduate management students from S.P. Jain Institute in Management Research, Nikhil and Deepti tried to understand various programmes of AERF during the six weeks internship. They both made an attempt to promote the business and biodiversity program of AERF. Nikhil Mirashi and Deepti Gupta
Snehal Mhatre: Snehal, postgraduate student from University of Pune, studied the impact of grazing on regeneration in selected sacred Groves from Ratnagiri district during her internship at AERF.
snehal mhatre
Aaron Welch: Aaron is a US Student Fulbright Scholar collaborating with AERF to investigate the feasibility of conservation agreements for the protection of biodiversity in India. Aaron was educated at the University of Colorado and Yale where he earned a master’s degree in environmental science. Before coming to India as a Fulbright Scholar, he was a Colorado Conservation Trust Fellow working to permanently protect private land of high conservation value in his home state. Prior to this experience, he served in the Dominican Republic as a US Peace Corps Volunteer working tso integrate community development and natural resource management. Aaron is married to an Indian citizen he met as a graduate student and is dedicated to joining his experience in conservation at home and abroad with opportunities for improved conservation in India.
Aaron Welch

Divya Bhagwat: An Information Management trainee from SPJIMR, Mumbai, Divya Bhagwat , worked on the 'Branding and Promotion of the My Forest campaign' as a part of a program that aims to develop corporate citizenship in management students. At the end of her six week internship, she suggested some modifications in the existing campaign so as to meet target segment needs and delivered a new website layout in keeping with the same. Divya Bhagwat
Subrajit Kumar: Subrajit has worked in the oil industry for over two years where he led a team to carry out market research of fuel consumers to segment the Retail Network Channel. He is now studying at SPJIMR, Mumbai. As part of his internship programme with AERF, he tried to understand environmental issues and worked on 'Branding and Promotion of the My Forest campaign. He drafted his recommendations for the ongoing campaign Subrajit Kumar
Nupoor and Pratulkumar: Nupoor and Pratulkumar worked as interns for six weeks at AERF, under the Development of Corporate Citizenship program of S P Jain Institute of Management Research, Mumbai. During their internship, they tried to understand the basics of conservation and contemporary issues faced by the NGO in the field. They developed a business plan for an environmental friendly enterprise that will address the need of environmental education among students and corporate.' nupur
Mihir Kulkarni: is currently pursuing his Masters degree in Zoology from the University of Pune. He is interested in studying the ecology of forests and sacred groves, their biodiversity, and the threats they face. As part of his internship with AERF, He is assisting a research fellow from DICE in his project on the potential of sacred groves to attract tourists. Main part of his work is to research, identify and promote non-charismatic native species as flagship species and help build a model of ecotourism around them. Mihir
Yasuo Takahashi: Yasuo is studying MSc in Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) in the University of Kent, UK. He is doing his dissertation project with AERF. He is particularly interested in people's perceptions about biodiversity, or species, and their implications to conservation activities. After doing his undergraduate degree in ecology and working in ecological research in Malawi (Africa) and in Japan, he now increasingly recognises the importance of incentives for local people for the conservation of biodiversity in their own lands. Since sacred groves are indeed common in his home country, Japan, he's interested in finding relationships and similarities among sacred groves in India and Japan. Manzoor
Elizabeth Johnson: Elizabeth Johnson is a postgraduate student at the Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent, England studying for Masters degree in Conservation & Tourism. Having worked in the tourism industry she is interested in the potential of ecotourism as a conservation and development tool. Whilst at AERF she studied the potential for ecotourism as a tool to conserve the sacred groves in the Konkan region. Nikhil Mirashi and Deepti Gupta
Reubin and Kosha: Reuben and Kosha, students from S P Jain Institute of Management, Mumbai, undertook a 10-day consultancy assignment with AERF. Their DOCC project was a medium to bridge the gap between Corporate and NGOs leading to sustainable development in social sector. In a short span of 10 days at AERF, they applied many of their institutional learning in the real-world scenario. Working in the NGO sector, they learnt various cross functional models that help achieve corporate triple bottom lines. In devising social marketing strategy, they applied various marketing concepts such as segmenting the corporates based on their area of CSR activities, targeting companies with specific projects and positioning AERF as an implementation partner in the field of bio-diversity conservation.
Reubin and Kosha

Andrea Lampas Rosenthal: an Arts graduate from Finis Terrae University. Santiago, Chile, Andrea is passionate about wildlife conservation. She worked as volunteer for period of three months at AERF. During this period, she carried out detailed studies on population density of trees in 6 sacred groves from Ratnagiri district.
Anusha Shankar: A post graduate student in Ecology from University of Pondichery, Anusha completed her dissertation work during the internship at AERF. She primarily studied preference of nesting trees by Malabar pied Hornbill in private forest landscape of Sangameshwar block in Ratnagiri district. Anusha Shanka
Arshiya Bose: a PhD student at Cambridge University UK working on on incentive-based conservation models in India. Arshiya studied AERF's project on incentive based conservation in the Ratnagiri district as part of her PhD work during her internship at AERF. She also gave presentation on the same topic at International Conference on Conservation Biology(ICCB) held at Auckland, New Zealand, Arshiya Bose
Tejas Mankar, Sonal Singhai, Mahesh Rupanagudi and Kamlesh Dadlani : A team of management graduates from S.P.Jain Institute for Management Research(SPJIMR), worked for six weeks on preparing a business plan for nature based tourism as a strategy for forest conservation on private lands in the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. The group also worked on improving the visibility of Sponsor a Forest initiative of AERF. Tejas Mankar, Sonal Singhai, Mahesh Rupanagudi and Kamlesh Dadlani
Colin Rebel and Clemment Gaddene : Post graduate students in forestry and ecosystems management from the French School AgroParisTech-ENGREF, Paris carried out vegetation analysis of selected sacred groves from Sangameshwar block of Ratnagiri district during their internship at AERF. Colin aired his thoughts about the internship at AERF – "This internship and the work on the field have been very interesting and rewarding for us. We thank you for having given us the opportunity of living such an experience" Colin Rebel and Clemment Gaddene
Vikas Patil : an engineering student from Birla Institute for Technology and Science, Pilani, Vikas was keenly interested in the Energy and Biodiversity Program of AERF. In span of one month he successfully worked on a fuel switch for making direct use of Pongamia Straight Vegetable Oil(SVO) as technically feasible fuel option in rural transport vehicles. Vikas Patil
Pranav Panvalkar : an undergraduate student in Zoology from Ratnagiri, Pranav takes interest in herpeto fauna. He worked as volunteer on Hornbill conservation project of AERF in Ratnagiri district.
Pranav Panvalkar

Arash Arthena, Vaibhav Kher and Pooja Shiwalkar : these students of SP Jain Institute for Management Research, Mumbai carried the project work of the program -Development of Corporate Citizenship at AERF in March 2012 for period of six weeks. Their work primarily included a study on the role of Non-timber forest produce in tribal communities from Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. Arash Arthena, Vaibhav Kher and Pooja Shiwalkar
Ajit Balgi,Vishal and Nidhi Rastogi : a team of Post Graduate students from SP Jain Institute for Management Research with expertise in Finance and Information Technology helped AERF redesigning the website of MyForest initiative. They also helped in development of Business plans for AERF's project in renewable energy sector. Ajit Balgi,Vishal and Nidhi Rastogi
Chloé Curtet, Marine Cholley, Alexandre Veille and Antoine Francart : a group of French students from ISTOM, a school of International Agro-Development from Paris, France carried out field work in the North Western Ghats to understand the abundance of economically important medicinal plants from sacred groves. Chloé Curtet, Marine Cholley, Alexandre Veille and Antoine Francart
Shruti Athavale : a student of Master of Science in Environmental Technology & International Affairs, Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Austria, Shruti took interest in documentation work at AERF. She worked on development of program strategies, finalizing content for annual report, preparing content in German language for improving the visibility of AERF websites. She also spent some time in the field for understanding AERF's work on the ground. Shruti Athavale
Jyoti Upadhyay : a research scholar from Department of Economics, Assam University, Silchar, Jyoti conducted field work in Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary for understanding the importance of traditional knowledge in climate change adaptation. Jyoti Upadhyay
Emma Housten : an Australian with expertise in conservation planning and wildlife research, Emma was interested in community based conservation work of AERF. She worked on preparing report on deforestation from North Western Ghats. She also made field visits to AERF's project sites from North Western Ghats to understand the impact of conservation agreement approach for biodiversity conservation and communities Emma Housten
Maria Andre Sanchez : a native of Guatemala and student of International Marketing at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands, Maria conducted market research to understand the potential of engaging Indian private sector companies in biodiversity conservation. She tried to find out whether companies using logos of wild animal and other natural elements are more inclined towards making investment in biodiversity.
Maria Andre Sanchez
Gillian Madden: a Ph.D student in Modern Physics from Ireland, Gillian spent two weeks in the field to understand AERF's on ground approach to conservation.
Gillian Madden
Stacey Hirsh: a Fullbright Scholar from USA, Stacey conducted field work for preparing a case study on AERF's successful initiatives in renewable energy sector specially – the native species based decentralised bio-diesel resource centers
Stacey Hirsh