"It always seems impossible until it's done" - Nelson Mandela
My mentoring philosophy is that students learn best through real-life examples, hands-on experience, and by thinking independently and creatively. The university classroom should mimic the rest of the world where there should be an effective gathering, synthesis, and critical analyses of available information. In environmental sciences, clearly communicating results to the intended audience and effective problem solving skills are essential to being a productive member of the society. To this end, my mentoring goal is to help the students develop these abilities, in addition to gaining a respect and admiration for the natural world and its complexity. I have created a positive and relaxed environment in the lab, and have an open-door policy rather than fixed office hours.
My graduate students are encouraged to be resourceful, think on their feet, explore unconventional avenues, aim for high quality work, and collaborate with colleagues within and across departments. I learned the best through teachers that gave me the space and time to develop my research program, and I provide the same atmosphere to my graduate students. I envision my laboratory to be the one where ideas flow freely, and students work enthusiastically on their own projects. I believe that the journey of scientific discovery and becoming a scientist is as important as the end product (dissertation and peer-reviewed publications). Students write research proposals, apply for funding so that they learn the process, and present papers at conferences. I hold weekly laboratory meetings where we will discuss current issues in forestry and ecology, amongst many other professional topics.
Dr. Kamal J.K. Gandhi
Address: Warnell School of Forestry & Natural
Resources, University of Georgia, 180 E Green
Street, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA