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News & Updates

Uttam Shrestha awarded with the Nat Geo Explorer grant

GIIS research fellow/director Dr. Uttam Babu Shrestha is awarded with the highly competitive National Geographic Explorer grant for his project “Integrating remote sensing, drone imagery, and local ecological knowledge to understand rangeland changes in Nepal.” This research project aims to assess spatial and temporal dynamics of rangelands, and the underlying causes of change at multiple scales; examine changes in ecosystem service provision as a result of changes in the rangelands; and document the consequences of rangeland changes on local livelihoods and wellbeing. This will be perhaps the largest national-level study that focuses on high altitude rangeland change in Nepal. This study is significant because alpine rangelands provide various ecosystem services to the locals and communities downstream and rangelands are one of the extensive ecosystems in Nepal covering ~ 23% area of the country. These ecosystems are undergoing a rapid change recently due to climate change and socio-economic transformations. He was also awarded with a grant from the National Geographic Society in 2012.