After 7 consecutive years of research in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Professor Karim-Aly Kassam of Cornell University and Senior Research Fellow of the University of Central Asia was elected Foreign Member (Academician) of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan on December 12th, 2012. Professor Kassam was also appointed English Language Editor of the Journal of the Biological and Medical Sciences of the Academy.
The election followed Professor Kassam’s short presentation where he outlined the work of his research group, which includes young scholars from Central Asia, with indigenous communities at high latitudes (Arctic and sub-Arctic) and high altitudes (Mountains). The president of the Academy, who is a mathematician and the Vice-President, who is a biologist, as well as the Directors of the Institutes of Physics and Botany spoke in support of his interdisciplinary work. They described how he has linked climate change with food sovereignty, medicinal plants with conservation of plant biodiversity and health, sacred sites with ecological sustainability, and indigenous knowledge with science. They described how his work on bio-cultural diversity builds on pluralism.
This is not just an important milestone for Professor Kassam but for Cornell as a Land Grant University to the world.
To read the article in Cornell’s Sustainable Campus, go to: http://www.sustainablecampus.