Neelam Chandra Poudyal, Ph.D., M.A.

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Associate Professor
  School of Natural Resources
Office: 240 Plant Biotech

Focus: Natural Resource Policy and Human Dimensions

  • Research (51%)
  • Teaching (49%)
Educational & Research Programs
  • Natural Resource Policy
  • Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
  • Economics of Wildlife
  • Non-Market Valuation

  • FORS 422: Forest & Wildland Resource Policy
  • FORS 590: Economic Perspectives in Natural Resource Issues
  • FWF 320: Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
  • FORS 323: People and Forest Practice

Biographical sketch

Dr. Poudyal has a B.S. in Forestry, M.A. in Georgaphy and Ph.D. in Natural Resources. Earlier, he worked as a Community Forestry Officer for National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC)'s Tiger/Rhino Conservation Project to help local communities manage their forestlands in Nepal. He then went on to study factors driving forest fragmentation in Illinois as part of his Master thesis. In 2008, he completed his PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Tennessee. His doctoral dissertation focused on non-market valuation of various natural resources amenities and their significance in human values, public health, and economic growth in rural areas.
After completion of his PhD, Dr. Poudyal worked at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at University of Georgia first as a Post-Doctoral Researcher (2009-2010), and then as an Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism (2010-2013). Investigating human dimensions and economic issues in natural resource management has been a central theme of his academic career and research. He combines a variety of economic and human dimension theories with qualitative as well as quantitative tools (statistics, GIS etc.) to answer management and policy questions in natural resources. His recently completed and ongoing projects examine broad range of topics related to understanding the decision making process and behavior of various stakeholders in forestry and wildlife (e.g., landowners, hunters, recreation users, general public, businesses) in the context of disturbances (e.g. invasive species, fire, disease), and economic assessment (e.g. valuation, impact) of natural resources and conservation programs.

Dr. Poudyal lives in West Knoxville with his wife (Durga) and two sons (Lucas and Logan). They all cheer for Vols, and the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge are their favorite places to spend outdoors.

Awards and Recognitions
Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Nepal, 2022-2023.
UTIA Mid-Career Faculty Research Excellence Award, 2022.
UTIA T.J. Whatley Distinguished Young Scientist Award, 2019.
Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Award for Research, 2019.
UTK Experiential Learning Fellowship, 2019-2020.
UTK Creative Teaching Fellowship, 2014-15.
UTK Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fellowship, 2015.
UGA Lilly Teaching Fellow, 2013.
UGA Service Learning Fellow, 2013.
UGA Writing Fellow, 2011.
UGA Teaching Academy Fellow, 2012.

Editorial Service
Associate Editor: Journal of Forestry
Associate Editor: Human Dimensions of Wildlife
Editorial Board: Land Use Policy
Editorial Board: Journal of Outdoor Recreation & Tourism

Professional Association Service
Council Member: International Association of Society & Natural Resources (IASNR)
Board Member: Forest Science & Technology Board, Society of American Foresters (SAF)

Recent Publications


Ph.D. Natural Resources, University of Tennessee, 2008
M.A. Geography, Western Illinois University, 2004
B.S. Forestry, Tribhuvan University, 2002