Buddhika Madurrapperuma, a doctoral student in the environmental and conservation science program at NDSU, received three scholarships.
He received a $500 scholarship from NorthDakotaView, which is administered by the University of North Dakota and is dedicated to promoting remote sensing and geospatial technologies in North Dakota. NorthDakotaView is a member of the AmericaView Consortium. Its main emphasis is establishing and assisting with education and training curricula in colleges and universities throughout the state and enhancing technology transfer, applied research efforts and workforce training.
Madurrapperuma was recognized for his Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing projects for North Dakota Forest Service and numerous presentations in collaboration with state forester Larry Kotchman. Madurrapperuma has integrated stochastic analyses, for example, Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation to study forest conversion trends, model invasive species and develop geospatial arboreal continuity as an integral project for a recently funded U.S. Department of Agriculture-Forest Service project where data can be visualized at: ndfsdss.ndsu.nodak.edu.
Madurrapperuma also received a 30,000 rupees scholarship Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research Center for International Cooperation in Science Fellowship from Indian Institute of Remote Sensing in association with Indian National Science Academy for a three-month (May 20 to Aug. 20, 2012) Remote Sensing course in Dehradun, India. Among the objectives of the center is to promote cooperation in science and technology between India and other countries.
Madurrapperuma also received a Royal Botanic Gardens Kew £2,000 scholarship for a five-week intensive course at Royal Botanic Gardens in United Kingdom. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew is an accredited short course provider for independent, further and higher education in the United Kingdom. The course runs from April 16 to May 18 2012, including field trips to Oxford Botanic Garden and other plant conservation organizations in the United Kingdom. At the end of the course work, he will receive an international diploma in botanic garden education. This is a great honor for an NDSU student to receive a competitive international scholarship in silvicultural management and education, said Peter Oduor, Madurrapperumas academic adviser. The international diploma in botanic garden education was developed jointly by Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Botanic Gardens Conservation International to help botanic garden educators develop programs within the context of international conservation and sustainability legislation and to try a wide range of environmental education activities. The overarching theme of the short course is environmental conservation in light of implementation of Target 14 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation by providing participants with the necessary education skills and strategies to communicate effectively to their varied audiences. Madurrapperuma has helped manage an arboretum in Sri Lanka, and during his doctoral research, integrated forest conservation and management using geospatial technologies.