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Kelly Alley, a professor of anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts, was in Kolkata, India, recently as an environmental panelist for the Building Pan Asian Connectivity Conference, organized through Indiana University. The conference was sponsored by the U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata and the U.S. Department of State and aimed to improve communication and exchange between countries of South and Southeast Asia in the areas of trade, security, environment and climate change. Panelists presented papers to help the Department of State envision and plan out a stronger relationship with India and its neighbors. Academics, think-tank members, professionals and concerned citizens from Kolkata attended the two-day event. The U.S. Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, and Neil Kromash, Deputy Director, Office of South Asian Regional Affairs, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, also gave keynote speeches.

Alley has carried out research in northern India for more than 25 years, focusing on public culture and environmental issues. She is also the author of book chapters and articles on religion, activism, politics, energy, policy and law related to rivers in India, and she has written about environmental movements and environmental justice in the United States. Alley is past presidentt of the Anthropology and Environment section of the American Anthropological Association. She currently is studying water governance in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basin and with colleagues and students just produced an interactive website on hydropower across the Himalayas. Alley was the only American researcher on the environmental panel of the conference.

For more information on the conference, go to this website. To learn more about Alley’s research, go to this website.