Karim-Aly Kassam

Dr. Karim-Aly S. Kassam is International Associate Professor of Environmental and Indigenous Studies in the Department of Natural Resources and the American Indian Program at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University. Since, 2008, he is Director of Graduate Studies of the American Indian Program. Dr. Kassam was previously Associate Professor in the Faculty of Communication and Culture at the University of Calgary, Canada (1995 to 2007). In 2006, Dr. Kassam received the Teaching Excellence Award from the Students’ Union at the University of Calgary. He has also received Teaching Excellence Awards in 1999 and 2002. In 2003, Karim-Aly Kassam was the first Canadian to receive the Organization of American States – Fulbright Ecology Fellowship. He developed and established the Theme School in Northern Planning and Development Studies in 1994 and till 2003 was its Director. From 1998 to 2001 Professor Kassam was the first to hold the prestigious Murray Fraser Chair of Community Economic Development at the University of Calgary. In 2003 Venture Magazine named Dr. Kassam, Alberta's 50 most influential people along with business and political leaders. Dr. Kassam is a Senior Research Fellow of the University of Central Asia, Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society, and Research Associate of the Arctic Institute of North America. Dr. Kassam holds a PhD in Natural Resource Policy and Management from Cornell University (USA), an MSc in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics (UK), an MPhil in Islamic Studies from the University of Cambridge (UK), and a BA in Economics from the University of Calgary (Canada). Dr. Kassam’s objective is to seamlessly merge teaching with applied research in the service of communities. Dr. Kassam’s research focuses on the complex connectivity of human and environmental relations, addressing indigenous ways of knowing, food security, sustainable livelihoods, and climate change. It is conducted in partnership with indigenous communities in the Alaskan, Canadian, and Russian Arctic and Sub-Arctic; the Pamir Mountains in Afghanistan and Tajikistan; and the rain forest in the south of India. By investigating the relationship between biological diversity and cultural diversity, he seeks to expand the foundations of the notion of pluralism.

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