04 Sep 2014 Kezang Gaden and Tenzin have made their college proud by winning the Best Student Presenter award and first runner-up prize, respectively, during the second Annual Research Symposium and Environmental Fair organized by the Bhutan Ecological Society on 23 August. These two students from Sherubtse College, Bhutan, presented the findings of their bachelor honours research project, which was supported by SERVIR-Himalaya under the NASA DEVELOP internship programme. Tenzin (left) and Kezang Gaden presented their work during the 2nd Annual Research Symposium & Environmental Fair organized by the Bhutan Ecological Society in Thimphu The DEVELOP internship programme seeks to enable students to share their knowledge and gain leadership skills. The programme selects promising students from ICIMOD’s regional member countries and provides them financial and technical support to pursue research on their chosen topic. Gaden’s and Tenzin’s proposals were selected based on their attempt to address relevant community issues. Tenzin received the Best Student Presentation award for his presentation, which focused on the impact of weather abnormalities on rice yields in Paro Dzongkhag, Bhutan. “ICIMOD’s contribution was instrumental in making my project a reality,” said Tenzin. “The support enabled me to carry out my research in time, as well as to share research ideas and methods with experts and friends.” Gaden, who bagged runner-up position for the same award, presented the findings of his research on geospatial analysis of agricultural land use sustainability in Bhutan. “I would not have been able to successfully complete my honors project and win this award in the Bhutan Ecological Society symposium without the technical and financial assistance from ICIMOD,” said Gaden. “I am indebted to ICIMOD and the lecturers of my Geography and Planning course for all their support.” In a note sent to ICIMOD, Tshering Wangdi, Director of Sherubtse College, said that the internship programme enhanced the youths’ capacity for using geospatial techniques in their research work. “It increased their ability to carry out geographical enquiry in different thematic areas,” he wrote. Commenting on the award, Basanta Shrestha, Director of Strategic Cooperation at ICIMOD, said, “I’d like to congratulate the two winners. It is heartening to note that the knowledge and skills gained through the internship programme has been put into use and recognized by the Bhutan Ecological Society.” The SERVIR initiative, jointly supported by USAID and NASA, integrates science and technology into development programmes. SERVIR-Himalaya is implemented by ICIMOD.