KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – University of Tennessee associate professor Neelam Chandra Poudyal has received a prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award for 2022-2023. This fall, Poudyal will visit the Institute of Forestry, Pokhara Campus of Tribhuvan University in Nepal, where he will collaborate with the faculty of Wildlife and Protected Area Management to conduct research on sustaining human-wildlife coexistence in the fringe areas of Nepal’s national parks.
The Fulbright Scholar Awards are competitive fellowship opportunities for scholars to teach, conduct research and carry out professional projects across the globe. With the funding appropriation by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Award allows U.S. scholars to engage in cutting-edge research, expand their professional networks, continue research collaborations abroad and lay the groundwork for forging future partnerships between the U.S. and their host institutions.
Poudyal’s project during the fellowship will center around this topic: “Sustaining human-wildlife co-existence in contested landscapes: how can Nepal’s buffer zone experience inform protected are management around the world?”
“Human-wildlife conflict is an enduring issue for biodiversity conservation around the world,” says Poudyal. “By evaluating and disseminating knowledge about the decades-long experience of Nepal’s unique park revenue sharing program, which is not yet widely known in other countries, I expect to generate new knowledge from Nepal’s distinctive approach to inform human-wildlife conflict management around the world.”
Poudyal believes Nepal is uniquely suited for this research because this program has been implemented across its 13 national parks that vary in many attributes (size, revenue, location, human pressure, etc.) and offers an ideal dataset for rich analysis. Poudyal plans to use the knowledge he gains to develop workshops geared toward training students at Nepal’s Institute of Forestry how to write successful research grants and publish their work in international peer-reviewed journals.
Poudyal is an associate professor of Natural Resource Policy and Human Dimensions, part of the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries at the UT Institute of Agriculture. He is a past winner of one of UTIA’s most notable honors – the T.J. Whatley Distinguished Young Scientist Award, as well as the AgResearch Mid-Career Faculty Research Excellence Award. He studies the social and economic issues surrounding biodiversity conservation and natural resources management.
Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu.