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Welcome! The Nilgiris Field Learning Center (NFLC) is a unique partnership that aligns Cornell faculty and students with experts and community members in the Nilgiris, the “blue hills” of southern India. The NFLC learning community explores nutrition and health, land use, and livelihoods in a region recognized for its biodiversity. Students develop research skills in a collaborative, field-based environment. Students on a hike

Projects address community-identified issues:

  • Community wellness, access to medical resources, and changing modes of healing
  • Dietary diversity, eating habits, and sourcing patterns in local food systems
  • Contested forest lands as spaces for food, farming, & trade
  • Infant feeding practices in the context of maternal health & social networks
  • Water and waste infrastructure in an urbanizing environment

The NFLC provides transformative research experiences for faculty,  students, community members, and professionals. Together, we engage in, give back, and benefit from the work done at the Center. Cornell brings strengths in the ecological and social sciences in collaboration with the applied fields of regional planning and policy analysis. Our partner, the Keystone Foundation, works with indigenous communities in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve focusing on livelihoods, conservation, and market-based social enterprise. The vibrant Keystone campus is located in Kotagiri, a hill station in the Western Ghats. It is a hub for honey production, education initiatives, and research. Learn more about Keystone on their website.

NFLC Student Blogs

  • 08. Unbreakable - March 19, 2016
    By Rachel Rabin, Cornell students. This blog post is coming to you train traveling from Trivandrum to Madurai where the six Cornell students continue their spring break. While our break has nothing to do with the course we have just completed at Keys [...]
  • 07. No place like home - February 24, 2016
     A lively scene from the annual Badaga festival. By Jackie, Cornell student. I cannot believe it is Week Six already…but actually I really can believe it, and with the team that we are, it is no surprise to me that we have come this far. I think w [...]
  • 06. Together in a new world - February 21, 2016
    Students gather on the balcony of the Guest House on Keystone campus. I think we are in a new world, knowing and gaining knowledge. This week we had an excellent topic: “Governance.”  At first, I was wondering about what we would study. I had no [...]
  • 05. Game on - February 20, 2016
    Padam, the son of Keystone staff members, joins in a game of football. By Sinan, Cornell student. Last week, after a long day of classes, we saw some of the employees of Keystone setting up for a game of cricket. Some of us students, including Rabin, [...]
  • 04. Romanticizing India - February 16, 2016
      Shanti Banti help Wynne put on her sari for Valentines Day celebration. By Asja, Cornell student. We have been in India for a little over a month now and are finally starting to settle in. I do find myself missing the United States every once and [...]
  • 03. Crossing boundaries - February 15, 2016
    Second Batch hard at work. By Mani, Keystone Student. The second week of the NFLC started at 9:30am with a Crossing Boundary Exercise (CBE). CBE’s are very useful for sharing our thoughts with each other. Livelihoods was the theme of week two. The [...]
  • 02. “Lessons explode across the landscape” - February 9, 2016
    By Wynne, Cornell Student. Sinan, Wynne, Asja take in the glorious view of Bhavanisagar Reservoir. While enjoying the last months at home, I was often surrounded by friends and family curious about my trip to India. Their inquiries tended to include [...]
  • 01: “No subject was boring.” - February 3, 2016
    By Subin, Keystone Student. Students Rabin, Jackie, Manikandan, Thulasi stop for a moment of rest on their busy bus tour of the NBR. It has been a week and a half since the NFLC 2016 started and it is going pretty good in all means. We have very comf [...]
  • Stay Tuned… - November 10, 2015
    For exciting new posts from the second batch of NFLC Cornell Students!

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