A group of seven students and
two faculty members is in India this month studying the effects of climate
change on tea production and local wetlands.
Led by Sudeshna Ghosh and Brian Okey, of the Department
of Geography and Regional Planning, the
group has teamed up with students and staff from the Indian Institute of
Technology Kharagpur’s Department of Architecture and Regional Planning.
The seven IUP students are:
Emily Bergman, of Irwin; Christian Cochran, of Gibsonia; Shelagh Jackson, of
Indiana; Nathaniel Kiehm, of Ellsworth, Maine; David Miller, of Mount Pleasant;
Kristina Thomas, of Monroeville; and Andrea Viazanko, of Greensburg.
The groups will visit Makaibari Tea Estate and Darjeeling
Tea Research and Development Centre at Kurseong, India, to do their study. The
first part of the trip (10 nights) was in Kolkata; the final seven days will be
spent in Darjeeling.
something that the whole world can relate to, even Starbucks has introduced
chai latte to their menu,” Ghosh said. “And when we talk about tea, it is the
world-famous Darjeeling tea that comes to the mind. This research will focus on
the socio-economic and geographic issues of tea plantations, and how they are
impacted by climate change. Darjeeling has been selected as the test bed for
this year. We will also have to collect weather-related data of the region over
the past 50 years to understand the extent of climate change, the impact and
whether it influences Darjeeling tea’s unique aroma.”
students are scheduled to return June 19.