Megha Malik, a senior studying anthropology, biology and time-based media at the University of Nevada, Reno, has been accepted to present her research at the annual International 4S (Society for Social Studies of Science) Conference in Cholula, Mexico, in December 2022.
“My research focuses on the human-elephant-conflict in Sri Lanka, looking at it from an anthropological lens,” Malik said. “With all the research that already exists, there are gaps in knowledge regarding the local peoples’ narratives.”
As part of a panel titled “Reconfiguring Worlds around Human-Elephant-Conflict (HEC): Teaching and Assessing Methodological Approaches to Community Engaged Natural Resource Management,” Malik will present on how science, technology and society (STS) theory has informed her approach on researching HEC in Sri Lanka.
“I believe that to reach solutions that are inherently sustainable, understanding the local narrative can expose motives, situations and scenarios that would help to understand HEC more comprehensively,” Malik said. “This would allow researchers and people in positions of authority, who have the ability to evoke change on an institutional level, have a better and fuller picture of HEC before any action is taken.”
Malik developed her own research project with her mentor Jason Ludden, director of the Office of Undergraduate Fellowships and Scholarships, as part of the initial cohort of the National Science Foundation International Research Experiences for Students (NSF IRES) funded University Sri Lanka Elephant Conservation Consortium.
She also received a Nevada Undergraduate Research Award to support her project and will present her experience as a student and researcher at 4S, the Wolf Pack Discoveries Symposium and the University’s International Education Week.