Shakila Merchant

Dr. Shakila Merchant worked as an Environmental Scientist at the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI)Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India for more than 10 years before moving to the United States and joined NOAA Cooperative Science Center, The City College of New York, NY 2002.

Professional Experience:

Dr. Merchant has extensive knowledge and experience in Project Management, Planning, Assessment. Her research areas of Interest are - Environment Impact and Ecosystem Health Assessment.

Dr. Merchant, in partnership with NOAA JPSS Program, developed NOAA JPSS Students Professional and Academic Readiness with Knowledge in Satellites (SPARKS) program to provide pre-workforce experiential and professional training to students in NOAA JPSS mission sciences by creating synergistic partnership with federal (NOAA) agency, academia, and private sectors. She has also been an instrumental and a key member in designing the Individualized Students Development Plan (ISDP) and Professional Advancement and Career Engagement (PACE) best practices at the Center and published several research and educational articles. She served on the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Education Symposium Committee in 2020-2021, and leads the K12 informal learning initiatives at CCNY since 2010. She presented at several national conferences and has been invited to lead and/or serve on several panels including women leaders in STEM fields, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and STEM Education and Workforce Development Panels. Dr. Merchant has served as a program and career advisor and mentor for more than seven hundred (700) post-secondary students since 2002.  

NOAA Key Partners and Collaborators:

  • Jacqueline Rousseau, NOAA/EPP/MSI
  • Audrey Trotman, NOAA/EPP/MSI
  • Natasha White, NOAA/EPP/MIS
  • Mitch Goldberg, NOAA/NESDIS
  • Vanessa Griffin, NOAA/NESDIS/OSAAP
  • Christopher Brown, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR 
  • Shobha Kondragunta, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR
  • Rob Cifelli, NOAA/OAR/ESRL/PSL
  • Meka Laster, NOAA/OAR/OSS
  • Monica Grasso, NOAA/PRSS

NOAA Mission Aligned Research Interests:

  • Human-based Impacts on Climate Change and Marine Ecosystems (Marine Debris, Coral Reefs, and Ecosystems)
  • Climate and Weather-related impacts on Vulnerable Communities, Social and Environmental Justice.
  • Flood and Drought impacts on Food Security

Honors, Awards, and Grants:

  • Served as Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator on several education grants funded by NSF, NYCDOE, NOAA, and Private Sponsor – Pinkerton Foundation. Secured more than $1.5M in grants and awards.
  • CCNY Presidential S.T.A.R Award (Service, Teamwork, Action, Results), 2019, The City College of New York, NY.
  • "Salute to Scholars” – Certificate of Recognition honor of outstanding scholarly achievements and contributions to the creation and transmittal of knowledge, received multiple years (2010 through 2013 and 2017.
  • Best Research Fellow Award for outstanding R&D performance, 1991-1992.
  • Certificate Course in Computer Operations, Vocational Training Board, India – First rank, 1990
  • Secured University Merit positions – M.Phil. 1989 (1st Merit) 1989 & MS, 1988 (2nd Merit)


  1. Merchant, S. and Khanbilvardi, R., (2020). Summer Undergraduate Research Experience: A Holistic Approach to Recruit, Train, Pipeline, and Prepare Students for Professional Careers in the NOAA Mission Enterprise, 29th Education Symposium, 100th AMS Annual Meeting, January 12-16, 2020, Boston, MA.
  2. Merchant, S and Khanbilvardi R., (2019). Place-based Research and Professional Experiential Learning Models through NOAA’s Investment, 28th Education Symposium, 99th AMS Annual Meeting, January 6-10, 2019, Phoenix, AZ.
  3. Merchant, S. (2019). High School Initiative in Remote Sensing of the Earth System Engineering and Sciences (HIRES): Experiential Learning and College Readiness Program for NYC High School Students. 28th Education Symposium, 99th AMS Annual Meeting, January 6-10, 2019, Phoenix, AZ.
  4. Merchant, S. and Marlene K., (2019). Session Chair: A STEM learning community of practice network: Bringing STEM advocates and educators together to share and learn from their experiences through informal and formal education programs, 28th Education Symposium held during 99th AMS Annual Meeting, January 6-10, 2019, Phoenix, AZ.
  5. Merchant, S and Khanbilvardi, R. (2018). CREST Summer Bridge: A Program to recruit, train and pipeline & prepare undergraduate students for NOAA Hollings and Undergraduate Scholarship Opportunities. Poster Presented at the 2018 GEO REU-PI workshop funded by NSF, hosted by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder CO, September 14-15, 2018.
  6. Merchant, S. (2017). An Innovative STEM Learning Model in Engineering Education: A case study of High School Initiative in Remote Sensing of the Earth Systems Engineering and Science. Pre-College Education Initiatives Part-II, 97th Annual AMS Meeting, 26th Education Symposium, Seattle, WA, January 23, 2017.
  7. Merchant, S, Goldberg, M, and Khanbilvardi, R. (2016) A Novel Approach to Prepare the Next Generation Cadre of JPSS Scientists through Pragmatic Education and Training, 96th Annual AMS Meeting, 25th Education Symposium, New Orleans, LA., January 2016.
  8. Merchant, S, Khanbilvardi, R. and Morimoto, E.T.A (2016). NOAA-CREST Pre-College Education & Training Model: High School Initiative in Remote Sensing of the Earth System Science and Engineering HIRES, 96th Annual AMS Meeting, 25th Education Symposium., New Orleans, LA., January 2016.
  9. Merchant, S. and Morimoto, E.T.A. and Khanbilvardi, R. (2015). High School Initiative in Remote Sensing of the Earth Systems Science and Engineering (HIRES). IEEE Integrated STEM Conference, Princeton University, NJ, March 2015, DOI: 10.1109/ISECon.2015.7119917
  10. Merchant, S. and Morimoto, E.T.A and R. Khanbilvardi (2014). An Integrated STEM Learning Model for High School in Engineering Education. IEEE Integrated STEM Conference, Princeton University, NJ, March 2014 (designated as one (out of 55) 6 best papers presented at the conference) DOI:10.1109/ISECon.2014.6891036.
  11. Merchant, S. and R. Khanbilvardi (2013). Integration of remote sensing tool to study oceanic, atmospheric and hydrologic sciences: A holistic education and outreach model. 93rd Annual AMS Meeting, 22nd Education Symposium, Austin, TX, January 2013.
  12. Merchant, S. and R. Khanbilvardi (2011). A National Framework to Integrate Remote Sensing Science and Education in K-20 Training. IEEE Integrated STEM Conference, Ewing, NJ, April 2011.04/2011; DOI: 10.1109/ISECon.2011.6229633.
  13. Merchant, S., Khanbilvardi, R., and Rousseau, J. (2010). Educational Partnership Program: A framework for producing future generation of scientists in inter-disciplinary NOAA related sciences. Paper presented in the Panel Discussion in the University Consortium of Water Resources (UCOWR) – The National Institute for Water Resources (NIWR) 2010 Annual Conference on HydroFutures: Water Science, Technology, and Communities, July 13-15, 2010, Seattle, Washington.
  14. Ghosh, T.K. Merchant, S.B., and Kaul, S.N. (2002). Need to protect Steep Slopes as Ecological Sensitive Areas in India. Journal of Indian Association of Environmental Management, Vol. 29, pp. 115-123.
  15. Pandey, J.S., Khan, S., Joseph, V., and Kumar, R. (2002). Aerosol Scavenging: Model Application and Sensitivity Analysis in the Indian Context, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 74, pp. 105-116.
  16. Pandey, J.S., Khan, S., Gupta, A.K. and Khanna, P. (1995). Biodiversity and Impact of Pollution on the Forests of Doon Valley. J. of Himalayan Geology. Vol. 6(2), pp. 75-80.
  17. J.S. Pandey, S. Khan, R. Shanker, P.R. Chaudhary, P. Padmanabhan and T.K. Ghosh, Effect of Predation and Zooplankton - Mortality on the Overall Ecosystem - Health of Udaipur Lakes in India: A Case Study Application of Five Compartments Ecological Food - Web Interaction Model. Journal of Environmental Systems Vol. 27(4), 281-292 1999
  18. J.S. Pandey, S. Khan and P. Khanna. Modeling and Quantification of Temporal Risk Gradients (TRG) for Important Traffic Zones of Delhi City in India., Journal of Environmental Systems Vol. 28(1), 2001, pp. 55-69
  19. Khan, S. and Gupta, A.K. (1998) Man's Prosperity at the cost of Natural Heritage: The Forest. In: M.P. Sinha [Ed.] Recent Advances in Ecobiological Research. Vol. II, APH Publishing House, New Delhi, pp. 1-9.
  20. Pandey, J.S., Khan, S.., Abidi, F.J. and Khanna, P. (1998). Regional Carrying Capacity Based Integrated Planning for Sustainable Development of Urban and Fringe Rural Areas in Sensitive Terrestrial Ecosystems. In Special Issue of Journal of Rural Development, National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad. Vol. 12(3), 495-509 pp.
  21. Pandey, J.S. and Khan, S. Abidi, F.J. and Khanna, P. (1998). LUCC-Dynamics and Estimation of Effective Ecosystem Sink Potential (EESP) for National Capital Region in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. National Workshop on Indo-Gangetic Plain: LUCC Workshop at National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land-Use Planning, March 31-April 1, 1998.
  22. Pandey, J.S., Khan, S., Joshi, A. and Khanna, P. (1998). Issues related to Impact of Green House Gases, Biodiversity and Sink Potential: A Case Study of Jamshedpur Region. In: [Eds.] Parasher, D.C. Sharma, C., Mitra A.P., Global Environment Chemistry, Narosa Publishing House, New Delhi, 273-279 pp.
  23. Khan, S. (1997). Biodiversity Conservation for a Better Tomorrow. Yojana. A Journal Published of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, New Delhi. Vol. 41(7). pp. 31-33.
  24. Gupta, A.K. and Khan, S. (1997). Ecological Concepts of Development: Context of Biodiversity and Survival. In: M.P. Sinha [Ed.] Recent Advances in Ecobiological Research, Vol. I. APH Publishing House, New Delhi, pp. 7-13.
  25. Pandey, J.S., Joseph, V., Khan, S., Shanker, R., and Kumar, R. (2000). Modeling of Ground Water Contamination and Contextual Phytoremediation: Sensitivity Analysis for an Indian Case Study, Contaminated Site Remediation: From Source Zones to Ecosystems. Proceedings 2000 Contaminated Site Remediation Conference (CSRC), Melbourne, Victoria, 4-8 December, 2000, pp 545-552.
  26. Pandey, J.S., Khan, S., Gupta, A.K., Khanna, P. (1996). Atmospheric Impacts on Biospheric Systems due to Accumulation of Greenhouse Gases. Lecture for training programme on “Chemistry of the Earth’s Atmospheric Environment (April, 1996) NPL, New Delhi, India.
  27. Khan, S. (1996). Biodiversity: Why care about it? Environmental Bioinformatics Newsletter. Vol. 3. pp. 3-8.
  28. Pandey, J.S., Khan, S., Gupta, A.K., and Khanna, P. (1995). Nutrient Cycling Studies in Relation to Forest Productivity. Sixth Regional Meeting of Silviculturists and Research Workers of Central Region, Nagpur, Jan. 9-11, 1995.
  29. Pandey, J.S., Khan, S., Gupta, A.K., and Khanna, P. (1995). Sink Potentials and Assimilative Capacities of Some Select Indian Tree Species with Specific Reference to Air Pollution. VANSHOBHA, A Journal of Friends of Trees on Environmental Conservation. Feb, 1995, 33-38 pp.
  30. Pandey, J.S.; Khan, S., Gupta, A.K., and Khanna, P. (1995). Modified Sink Potential Index: A Case Study of Doon Valley. Paper Presented at "Group Discussion on Sustainable Development in the Doon Valley: Constraints of Geo-Environment", at Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, India, during June 15-16, 1995 pp. 30 (Abstract Published).
  31. Pandey, J.S., Khan, S., Gupta, A.K. and Khanna, P. (1995). Biodiversity and Impact of Pollution on the Forests of Doon Valley. J. of Himalayan Geology. Vol. 6(2), 75-80 pp.
  32. Badrinath, S.D. Chakraborty, A. and Khan, S. (1994). Forest Ecosystem and Mining Activity. Paper presented in the International Conference on Impact of Mining on the Environment pp. 159-172.
  33. Nath, A.K., Badrinath, S.D., Khan, S., and Kale, C.K. (1991). Biological Environmental Impact Assessment for Development of Better Micro-Ecosystem. Paper presented in the Conference Organized by Indian Association of Environmental Management, held during Dec. 15-16, 1991
  34. Khan, S., Nath, A.K., and Badrinath, S.D. (1990). Environmental Impact on Mangrove Ecosystem: with Reference to India. J. of Encology. Vol. 5(7), pp. 1-11.
  35. Khan, S., Nath, A.K., and Badrinath, S.D., (1990). Environmental Impact Assessment: Its Future in Developing Countries. Paper presented in the National Conference on "Women and Science", Organized by Indian Women Scientist Association, held during Nov. 1-3, 1990. (Abstract Published). Won the best paper presentation award
  36. Khan, S., Shinde, J.S., and Tembhare, D.B. (1989). Studies of Neurosecretory System of Ventral Ganglia of Pupae of fruit Sucking Moth, Ohtreis materna. Paper presented in the Natl. Symp. on Animal Physiology held at Dept. of Zoology, Nagpur University PGTD Campus, during January 29-31, 1989 (Abstract Published).

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