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Research and Graduate Student Mentoring at NSC

NSC has many affiliated doctoral students and faculty working on research areas such as health, remittances, child welfare, environment, social capital, conflict, food security, water quality and waste management, ecological habitat, and development issues. NSC has developed research capacity in GIS, survey instruments, and empirical modeling and state of the art methods.

The Center hopes to facilitate research collaboration between partner institutions and their affiliated faculty and students. The branch office of NSC-UNM at KU in Kathmandu will provide a venue to launch research projects in the region.

New: Post- Earthquake Nepal Recovery Research Initiative


Undergraduate Teaching and Research

Environmental Dashboard for Monitoring Air Pollution

The Lumbini Center for Sustainability

(An International Research Hub: Outcome of an NSF supported travel grant.)


NSC-affiliated Current and Past Graduate Students

NSC's Field Research Projects




The Nepal Study Center (NSC) focuses it's research interest and publication accomplishment in the intersection of environment, health & sustainable development, increasingly driven by real world problems that require out-side-the-box thinking that leads to rigorous understanding and testing of the hypotheses. Importantly, doctoral students use research results to offer implementable solutions and interventions, interventions that could be technological, policy prescriptive, regulatory, or educational.


HPV Vaccination: This research, grounded in the Theory of Planned Behavior, evaluates the roles that attitudes, subjective norms and perceived controls play in the intention and willingness-to-accept (WTA) and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in western Nepal. Graduate Student: Mandy Liu, Funded by American Cancer Society (ACS)

Adolescence Menstruation: This work, grounded in the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping, evaluates the roles that cultural and school environments play in secondary appraisals of menstruation as a major life stressor. Further, emotional wellbeing is measured as an outcome indicative of the effectiveness of these elements as coping strategies. Graduate Student: Siobhan Yilmaz, Funded by Pratiman Neema Memorial Foundation (PNMF)

Social Network :This study tries to understand how social networks affect the emotional well-being of the cancer patients. The data for this paper comes from the field survey that we conducted in four major hospitals in Nepal in 2018. The survey collected data on quality of life of cancer patients and patients of other chronic illnesses. The data suggests that the cancer patients suffer from higher levels of emotional stress compared to other patients. Graduate Student: Disha Shende, Funded by American Cancer Society (ACS)


Waste Management: This reserach estimates the preference for a better solid waste managemnet system for the residents of Siddhartanagar Municipality in Nepal through a Choice Experiment (CE) framework. In addition, this research also us ethe Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to explain the recycling and composting behavior of the households and proposes policy to engage them for building a better environment. Graduate Student: Mohammad Mashiur Rahman, Funded by South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE)

Air Pollution: This research focuses on the respiratory health impacts of personal exposure to air pollution based on the proximity to pollution sources and time-activity pattern. Also, this aims to understand public preferences for air quality improvement in Siddharthanagar municipality by using the survey-based contingent valuation (CV) method to estimate households’ willingness to pay (WTP). Graduate Student: Niraj Khatiwada, Funded by South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE)

Management of Danda River: This paper develops a choice experiment method to assess the potential for a sustainable management of the Danda River system in Nepal. This research uses a primary survey data from 637 households, and the empirical analysis is conducted using the Generalized Multinomial Logit model. This study incorporates the respondents’ preference uncertainty, and we also explore the presence of spatial heterogeneity using a hot spot analysis. Graduate Student: Samrat B. Kunwar, Funded by Open Society Foundation

Special Focus on Gender

1. Siobhan Yilmaz, Alok K.Bohara, Soumi Roy Chowdhury, & Swati Thapa,"A Light in the Dark for Nepalese Teen Girls," WSSA Conference 2017,(April 12-15th, San Francisco), 2017

2. Kristina Piorkowski, Alok K. Bohara, “Passing the “Torches of Freedom”: An Investigation into Smoking Behaviors of Women in Nepal.” Feminist Economics (Submitted November 2015,
under review ; R&R Fall 2016, 2nd R&R January 2017)

3. Chowdhury, Roy Soumi, Alok K. Bohara and Brady Horn, “Balance of Power, Domestic Violence and Health Injuries: Evidence from Demographic and Health Survey of Nepal,”
World Development, Revised and Resubmitted , May 2017

4. Chowdhury, Roy Soumi, Alok K. Bohara, Hari Katuwal, Jose Pagan, and Jennifer Thacher “Impact of Ritual Bathing in a Holy Hindu River on Water-borne Diseases”
The Developing Economies (Submitted Fall 2016; R&R February 27, 2017)

5. The effects of arsenic on Women's health - Niraj Khatiwada , May 2017

6. Halim, Nafisa, Xiomin Ruan, and Alok K. Bohara, “Healthy Mothers, Healthy Children:Does Mothers Demand for Antenatal Care Matter for Child Health in Nepal?”
Health Policy and Planning, Vol. 26. Issue 3, May 2011, pp. 242-256.

7. Guo, Wenmei, Alok Bohara and Biraj Karmacharya . “Is Micro-Finance Program Beneficial to Women Participants’ Health in Nepal?” (Working Paper)

8.Crockett, Matthew, Geoffrey Schultz, and Alok K. Bohara "Food Insecurity as a Precursor to Gender Discriminatory Behavior and Child Health Outcomes," (Working Paper)

9. Piorkowski, Kristina, Alok K. Bohara, Jennifer Thacher, Biraj Karmacharya, and Sachita Shrestha, “Determinants of Gender Differences in Self-Health Ratings: A Case Study from Nepal.

10. The Effects of International Remittance Income on Child Education and Child Labour: Evidence from Nepal.  The Indian Journal of Economics, Volume XIC, No. 362, January 2011, pp. 519-541, ISSN 0019-5170, Corresponding first author: Dr. Michael Milligan

11. Household Shocks, Child Labor, and Child Schooling: Evidence from Guatemala, Latin American Research Revew, 2010, vol. 45, no3, [Note(s): 165-186, 276 [23 p.]], Corresponding first author: Dr. William F. Vasquez

12. Mothers’ Bargaining Power and Educational Progress of Children in Nepal, NSC/UNM Working Paper, Corresponding first author: Alfred McCloud

13. Maternal Healthcare Amid Political Unrest: The Effects of Armed-Conflict on Antenatal Care Utilization in Nepal,   (Accepted for publication in Health Policy and Planning). Corresponding first author: Dr. James Price

14. Healthy Mothers, Healthy Children: Does Mothers' Demand for Antenatal Care Matter for Child Health in Nepal?, Health Policy and Planning. 2011 Sep; 26(3):242-256. Corresponding first author: Dr. Nafisa Halim

Non Market Evaluation

Three Essays on Urban Pollution, Sanitation, and the Climate Change and the Environment - Samrat Kunwar

Public Preferences and Willingness to Pay for Improving Water Quality in Nepal's Bagmati River: Evidence from Choice Experiments, NSC/UNM Working Paper, Corresponding first author: Hari Katuwal

Respondent Uncertainty and Hypothetical Bias in Choice Experiment: A Survey Design with an Application to Valuing Invasive Species, Nepal, NSC/UNM Working Paper, Corresponding first author: Dadhi Adhikari


NSC-related Collaborative work

Download LoboVault: available in September 2018 Food Security, Climate Change, and Poverty Reduction in Rural Nepal , Wenmei Guo (May, 2016)
(Senior Pricing Analyst, EZ BOO, Chicago)

Download LoboVault:
available in September 2017 Towards Reaching Sustainable Urban Development in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal: An Economic Analysis of Solid Waste Management, Recycling, and the Health Impacts of Air Pollution, Menuka Karki (May, 2015)
(Economist at Norlha)

Download LoboVault: available in September 2014 The Value of Wildlife Watching Recreation and Techniques for Addressing Nonresponse in Nonmarket Valuation Surveys,
Jee Hwang (May 2014)
(Assistant Professor at Northern New Mexico College)

Download LoboVault: available in September 2014 A Geospatial Approach to Wildlife and Wilderness Management, Naresh Nepal (May, 2014)
(Post-doc position at UNM Health Sciences)

Download LoboVault: available in July 2014 Examining the Influence of Landscape on Natural Resource Management in the American West: A Geospatial Approach,
Robert Fonner (July, 2014)
( Economist, Conservation Biology Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries)

Download LoboVault: available in September 2012 Food Security in Developing Countries: Understanding the Relationships Between Dynamically Changing Social Systems and Natural Resource and Environmental Conditions, Steve Archambault (June, 2012)
(Assistant Professor, College of Agriculture, Cal-Poly Pomona)
Presentation Slides

Download LoboVault: available in September 2012 Demand for Environmental Quality: An Empirical Evidence from Knowledge Attitude, Behavior, and Choice Experiment Survey, Hari Katuwal, (June 2012) (Post-doc, University of Montana, Missoula. July 2012 -)
Presentation Slides

Download LoboVault: available in September 2012 Responding to Natural Hazards: The Effects of Disaster on Residential Location Decisions and Health Outcomes, James Price, Spring 2012, (Post-doc at University of British Columbia - Okanagan Campus. June 2012 -)
Presentation Slides

Download LoboVault: available in September 2010 Measuring Effects of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Regulations in U.S Households, Bishwa Koirala, (September, 2010)
(Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Pembroke)

Download LoboVault: The Welfare Effects of International Remittance Income, Michael Milligan (Spring, 2009)
(Economic Affairs Officer, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe headquarters in Geneva, in the Housing and Land Management unit)

Download LoboVault: Healthy Mothers, Healthy Children: Does Mothers' Demand for Antenatal Care Matter for Child Health in Nepal? Nafisa Halim, (MA Thesis), Department of Sociology, 2009
(Assistant Professor, Department of International Health, Boston University)
Presentation Slides

Download LoboVault: Poverty, Inequality, Violent Conflict, and Welfare Loss: Micro-level evidence from Nepal, Mani Nepal, (Spring, 2007)
(Associate Professor, Tribhuvan University / Sr. Environmental Economist, SANDEE)    

Dissertation Projects of Students who indirectly Benefited from NSC Resources   

Download LoboVault: Conflict-Induced Displacement, Understanding the Causes of Flight, Prakash Adhikari, Department of Political Science, 2011
(Survey-based Research on Maoist Insurgency in Nepal)
(Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Central Michigan University)

Download HRPA: Assessing Development Strategies to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Guatemala, William Vasquez, 2007
(Assistant Professor Department of Economics Fairfield University)

Approaches to rural Health in Nepal, Kristina Nicole Piorkowski, March 2013
Presentation Slides

Download LoboVault: The Effect of remittances on Child Schooling in Ecuador, (MA Thesis), Jose R. Bucheli-Penafiel, 2012

NSC-UNM-related collaborative work by graduate students and faculty


Consumption from remittance and Non-Remittance Income in Nepal: A Semiparametric Analysis, Journal of Regional Studies and Development, 2011 (published): Corresponding first author: Dr. Michael Milligan

The Impacts of Social Networks and Household Forest Conservation Efforts in Rural Nepal, Land Economics, May 2007 N 83 (2): 174–191, Corresponding first author: Dr. Mani Nepal

Ethnic wage differential in Nepal: The cost of being Dalit, NSC/UNM Working Paper, Corresponding first author: Menuka Karki  

Consumption Insurance under Uncertainty: The Case of Nepal during Maoist Insurgency, NSC/UNM Working Paper. Corresponding first author: Dr. Mani Nepal  

Mapping and Decomposition of Poverty and Inequality: Nepal, NSC/UNM Working Paper, Corresponding first author: Dr. Mani Nepal

Coping with Poor Water Supplies: Empirical Evidence from Kathmandu, Nepal,Journal of Water and Health, 9(1); 143-158, 2011. Corresponding first author: Hari Katuwal

Knowledge, Information and Water Treatment Behavior of the Residents in Kathmandu Valley, NSC/UNM Working Paper. Corresponding first author: Hari Katuwal

2. Food Security & Conflict

Spatial analysis of strategies to increase household food security in Nepal. NSC/UNM Working Paper, Corresponding first author: Steven Archambault

Dynamic analysis of natural disaster and other determinants of food aid distribution, NSC/UNM Working Paper, Corresponding first author: Steven Archambault  

Opportunity, Democracy and Political Violence: A Sub-national Analysis of Conflict in Nepal, Journal of Conflict Resolution 50 (Feb 2006): 108-128, Corresponding first author: Dr. Mani Nepal  

More Inequality, More Killings: The Maoist Insurgency in Nepal, American Journal of Political Science, Volume 55, Issue 4, pages 886–906, October 2011, Corresponding first author: Dr. Mani Nepal  

Internal Rural Migration During a Civil Conflict: The case of Nepal, NSC/UNM Working Paper, Corresponding first author: Robert Fonner

Somali Piracy: What Characteristics Materially Change the Probability of a Pirate Attack Being Successful?, NSC/UNM Working Paper. Corresponding first author: Glen McDermott

Food security: A dynamic optimization model, NSC/UNM Working Paper, Corresponding first author: Steven Archambault


Biogas: A promising renewable technology and its impact on rural households in Nepal, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 13, Issue 9, December 2009, Pages 2668–2674, Corresponding first author: Hari katuwal

Who pollutes? Household solid waste management problem in Kathmandu,Nepal, NSC/UNM Working Paper, Corresponding first author: Menuka Karki

Investigating the Impact of Social Networks on Household Forest Conservation Effort in Rural Nepal, Land Economics 83(2): 174-191, May 2007, Corresponding first author: Dr. Mani Nepal (listed under International Development)

Ecological and Habitat Modeling:

Habitat selection by mountain goats in Kenai Peninsula, Alaska: An application of spatial count regression model, NSC/UNM Working Paper, Corresponding first author: Naresh Nepal

Impact of winter recreation on Alaskan mountain goat habitat, NSC/UNM Working Paper, Corresponding first author: Naresh Nepal

Mountain goat habitat selection in South-Central Alaska: A comparison of GPS collared and aerially surveyed data, NSC/UNM Working Paper, Corresponding first author: Naresh Nepal

NSC Mentors


NSC would like to acknowledge research mentoring support of the following scholars

Dr. Alok K. Bohara (Professor, Department of Economics, UNM),
Dr. Jennifer Thacher (Associate Professor, UNM),
Dr. Keshav Bhattarai (Professor of Geography, Program Coordinator, School of Environmental, Physical & Applied Sciences, University of Central Missouri)
Dr. Wendy Hansen (Professor, Department of Political Science, UNM)
Dr. Grant Harris (Ecologist, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Albuquerque)
Dr. Kristine Grimsrud (formally at UNM, Researcher, Statistics Norway)
Dr. Christine Sauer (Professor, Department of Economics, and ISI Director)
Dr. Matias Fontenla (Associate Professor, Department of Economics)
Dr. Robert Berrens (Professor, Department of Economics, UNM)
Dr. Janie Chermak (Professor, Department of Economics) and many others


Research poster examples:

Habitat modeling PowerPoint editable version
Food security and natural capital PowerPoint editable version
Bagmati River benefit estimates

NSC's research grant activities:

Habitat modeling: funding partner US Forest Services
(NSC-UNM Research team: Alok K. Bohara, Jennifer Thacher, Naresh Nepal)

The Center is initiating important research programs in areas such as,

GIS and Public Policy Research

Some ongoing research interest: food security mapping, poverty mapping, small area estimates, climate vulnerability and food security, choice experiment, invasive species, climate change, micro health insurance, spatial pattern of WTP, habitat modeling, Bayesian application.

Working papers sponsored by or coming out of the Nepal Study Center are posted on Himalayan Research Papers Archive. The working papers are disseminated around the world through the open access Dspace repository network of universities and libray systems.

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