Summer at Woodstock – Himalayan Nature and Ecology

Course Description

The Himalayan ecology course is designed for those who have a particular interest in nature and want to understand the dynamics and interactions that happen in an ecosystem. Focussing on the Himalayan bio-region we will study the various landscapes that make up the region, its special flora and fauna, its fragility, importance and current conservation issues. The objective of this course is to provide participants with hands-on knowledge in the field of flora & fauna identification, nature interpretation, wildlife and conservation issues. While being the perfect introduction to our surroundings, it also intends to set a solid platform for participants who would like pursue the study of nature either in their leisure time or as a career.


Comprising of a combination of field sessions, classroom discussions and group reflections the course will impart indispensable knowledge on nature observation, awareness and appreciation while inculcating some very practical life skills.

What skills and knowledge will participants gain through the course?

Participants will learn skills like nature observation and documentation, identifying flora and fauna, reflecting and journalling, wildlife survey methods like spot surveys, line-transects, quadrants, camera-trapping. They will get involved in a citizen science project where they can record and collate their observation data.

Course Description:

Week 1

Introduction to Himalayan ecology

  • Geological processes, forest types, geological features and evolutionary adaptations

Nature observation and survey methods

  • Observation techniques and counting species on campus
  • The science of observation – Wildlife survey methods and collecting data of what we see
  • Data recording and the role of citizen science. Campus Bioblitz

Field-trip to Jabarkhet Nature Reserve (JNR)

  • Understanding Himalayan landscapes, flora and fauna.


Week 2

Nature journaling and sketching, Identification, tracks and signs

  • Learning how to identify local flora and fauna
  • Learning how to interpret tracks and signs of animals

Elusive Himalayan wildlife and their conservation

  • Discussing hard to see wildlife, methods to find them and their importance
  • Putting skills into practice – Field visit to JNR

AGE RANGE: 12-18 years

DATES: June 5 to June 16, 2023

COURSE FEES: INR 180,000 (inclusive of GST) along with Application Fee of INR 5,000 (non-refundable)

Who should take this course?

If you’ve ever been fascinated by nature and wondered why some plants are the way they are or why some animals do what they do or found yourself pondering by a stream on how many micro-organisms could be living in there, then this course is for you! Perfectly suited for those who have a general interest, those who want a deep dive into nature in the Himalayas and for those who wish to perhaps pursue a future in ecology and biology.

Faculty: Conan Dumenil

Conan Dumenil has been leading nature and wildlife trips across India for the past 18 years. His first job took him to Corbett National Park where he worked and trained as a naturalist with an acclaimed wildlife lodge. In addition to guiding trips, he has worked on nature documentaries for leading networks, documented animal and bird calls through sound recordings, worked on snake conservation and snakebite mitigation and leading outdoor and nature education programs for children, the latter which he custom designs and leads. Conan has successfully conducted programs for reputed institutions such as Canadian Intl. Stonehill and Mallya Aditi, American Embassy School, Woodstock, University of Pittsburgh, Sandwich Technology School, Kent and the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, GoI.