“To explore, discover and document bioresources of the North-Eastern region, assess their economic importance, develop models of sustainable resource use and build capacity and strengthen institutions in Biodiversity Science”

Hands-on training on basic field-based Plant Taxonomy

Certificate Training Programme on improving your skills in plant taxonomy

The technical workshop will be held from 27th to 31st January, 2020 at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar, Assam.

A common myth surrounding the identification of plants is that ‘every plant looks green’ making it difficult to identify/associate it with any particular name, use or its distribution. Identifying plants by their names becomes very critical in understanding not only its use but also in communicating about its availability in nature.
The innate skill to differentiate forms and colours would play a major role in identifying plants too. The five day hands-on training course aims to facilitate the participants in distinguishing plants, although they all ‘look green’ and identify them despite their nomenclature being ‘Greek and Latin’. The participants will be encouraged to observe, document and share knowledge of the plants they “feel” in the field. Participants will also be guided to identify plants by observation as well as appreciate the ‘world of fairies’ under the magnifiers. The course will also undertake field visits where participants will be exposed to plants growing in different habitats in a forest so as to create an experience of observing them in diverse landscapes. They will also be taught to use web-based tools both to enrich as well as share their knowledge about plant identity.
Apart from the learning activities of the course, participants will be encouraged to bring in linkages of knowledge abound plants in the form of ethnic knowledge, stories, folklore, etc. so as to ensure that taxonomy is palatable and exciting for everyone. The take-home experience of the course will be ‘plants do not just look green but are a lot colorful and diverse’. The workshop will cover a wide range of topics ranging from plant nomenclature to vegetation survey to documenting plant diversity.

Students, Naturalists, Ecotourism Guides/ Homestay facilities, Forest Guards and Watchers, Personnel involved in preparation of People Biodiversity Register and Members of Biodiversity Monitoring Committee. (Applicants should be from/working in North-East India)

Day 1 - Lectures: History of plant taxonomy- How botanical knowledge and plant-based bioresources drove the first spurt of capitalist expansion; Relationship between plant taxonomy, bioresources and biodiversity conservation
Hands-on exercise: Feel the plants (basic morphology in the field), look for diverse morphological features and choose one or two unique character.
Day 2 - Hands-on exercise: Feel the plants (habit, habitat); Observations and grouping them based on morphological features to develop keys for identification.
Day 3 - Hands-on exercise: Feel the plants (Observing morphological features in the field, recording in the form of notes and pictures); Dissecting plants to identify unique character/s of minimum three plants; Observe features that distinguish the closely related plants from a genus and family.
Day 4 - Hands-on exercise: Documenting plant diversity (recording observations, maintaining collection for further studies); Using microscope or magnifying lens, preparing the checklist with local names or name constructed by the candidate.
Day 5 - Hands-on exercise: Documenting plant diversity through pictures and dissemination of the knowledge through web portals; Identification through the portal sources – tapping knowledge source for identification; Discussion on utilization value of plant identification skills as part of generation of livelihood source.

There is no registration fee for attending the workshop. All the participants will be provided training materials, tea/ coffee and food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for five-days. Accommodation and food will be provided at the university hostel. No Travel Allowance (TA) will be provided to the participants. All participants have to bear the expenses of travel between their home town/ institute and training place. However, local travel expenses for field visits during the workshop will be borne by the organisers.

Interested candidates can fill in the form provided in the link below by 10th January, 2020.
Selected applicants will be notified by 16th January, 2020.


For more information or queries, please contact:
Dr. Sajitha T P: sajitha.tp@atree.org (ATREE)
Dr. G Ravikanth: gravikanth@atree.org (ATREE)
Dr. Panna Deb: debpanna13@gmail.com (Assam University)
Dr. Hillol Jyoti Singha: hilloljyoti.singha@gmail.com (Assam University)

The workshop is conducted under the aegis of Department of Biotechnology funded project “Bioresources and Sustainable Livelihoods in Northeast India”.