Letter of Intent

I appreciate this opportunity to provide further background information in support of my application for Environmental Economics PhD Program in XXX. I believe that my educational background, work experience and deep interest in the chosen field of study make me a very good candidate for the program.
I am very passionate about academics and research, and am also passionate about impacting society both near and far. As long as I remember myself I have always known that I want to study Economics and to be more specific its facets that concern Environmental issues.

As a child I used to wait for the festival of lights, Diwali to come. We celebrate this festival with lots of sweets, lamps and new clothes. With time the way we celebrate the festival and for that matter any good occasion has changed. The celebration of this festival is considered incomplete without the use of plenty of firecrackers. Firecrackers primarily contain sulphur, carbon, added chemicals, barium nitrate, aluminium, copper, lithium and strontium. When these firecrackers are lit, these chemicals are released into the air, reducing air quality drastically. To make matters worse, Diwali usually takes place in October or November when many cities in northern India face fog. The gases released from the firecrackers are trapped in this fog and increase the level of pollution exponentially. The levels of pollution in the air rise astronomically during these days. During my growing years I wondered where did the polluted air go or is there a natural sink provided by mother earth. There were many unanswered questions which motivated me to read more on the subject. My eagerness to know more about the ecosystem, climate and natural resources led me to my master’s programme in Indian Institute of Forest Management.

I consider myself fortunate to have trained under the guidance of highly experienced and prominent faculty Dr. Madhu Verma on Ecological Economics and Environmental Valuation. It exposed me to the harsh reality of what is at stake. We need to understand that there is an intimate connection between the economics of development and the cost of environment conservation. Heartening to see that Ecosystem Services fall outside the present configuration of markets, they remain un-priced, un-owned and unaccounted in economic terms. My graduate coursework provided me theoretical knowledge including economic models: methods, theory and application of tools used by companies in their holistic approach of life cycle assesment. The classes enriched my understanding of the actors' of environment conservation and sustainable development such as the government, organization and community. During this time I realized that our environment is slowly heading to the point of no return, and unless we do something about it. I gained insight into the environmental impacts of the future climate change and the economic repercussions it would follow. As part of the course curriculum I conducted a survey to understand the relationship between poverty and environmentalism by analyzing the responses of poor to their imminent neighbourhood environmental issues. It is during such visit that I realised the importance of creating awareness, inclusive growth, sustainable development and minimum emissions with minimal impact to environment. During my years in college, I have given talks on topics like Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change, Silent Spring, Towards a Green Economy – Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, Forest carbon index and The BASF Eco-Efficiency Life Cycle Tool.

During my study and field experience, I realized the importance of data analysis and number crunching, because we cannot control what we cannot measure. I felt that before going further on the way of academic research, it would be useful to get some experience on data analytics. Desire to learn analytics to support my research along with knowledge of environment and economy, landed me a job in one of the leading Microfinance Institute in bangalore. After completing my masters program, I joined the company where I am working as Market Risk Analyst. Working here has increased my ability to research, analyze and present key components for management's decision making process. My work typically involves qualitative analysis on the market risk and the liquidity risk of the firm. Some of my duties include data analysis, automation of reports, predictive modelling, presentations and sharing insights with the management team.

During my free time I work on freely available environment related datasets to analyse and build model. I wish to use my data analysis skills to analyse the available data and build an efficient model that would give insight to environment problems and the solution that can have greater impact. I seek to contribute to the topic of climate reporting by answering key questions regarding the status quo of international climate change reporting regimes; comparing mandatory versus voluntary disclosure schemes and effect on reducing CO2 emissions; and analyzing investors' reaction to climate-related disclosures. Research at <univ> will reinforce my knowledge on environmental economics and put these concepts in practice to achieve <goal in line with univ proj>. We have lots of data available on the change in land use pattern, carbon emission over years, change in forest cover over years, climate change over years and many related fields. To make an informed policy decision, we need to analyse these data, understand the future impact of the business-as-usual model and corrective measure to reduce these negative impact.

I like to think myself as an adventure seeking enthusiastic person who is capable to rise up to any challenge. I have variety of interests which include painting, travelling, trekking and running. I now wish to continue my academic career with a PhD in Economics, and I cannot image a better place to perform my research than in the department of economics at the XXX of Economics. The prospect of studying and learning in XXX University which has a great blend of faculty and students from all over the world excites me. I realize the highly competitive demands of the program I am applying to and believe that my drive and passion for Environmental Studies will help me to excel in my future research.

Thank You very much for considering my application and for your time!