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Dissertation: Smallholders, Mountain Agriculture and Land Change

My dissertation (Smallholders, Mountain Agriculture and Land Change in Lamjung District, Nepal) integrated ethnographic and spatially-explicit survey data with remote sensing and GIS applications to study: (a) the household conditions and community contexts under which mountain smallholders change their agricultural land-use strategies, and (b) how their land-use strategies are linked to the district scale land-cover change patterns identified from multi-temporal Landsat images. Although I targeted a particular culture and place—Gurungs living in the foothills of the Mt. Annapurna range—my findings contributed to the general relationships underlying subsistence behavior of mountain smallholders, livelihoods and food security, their dependence on land and forest resources, and the extent to which their behaviors are historically influenced by the changes in demography, livelihoods, local economy, and institutions. This research was funded by the NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant (BCS 0350127) and my graduate training leading up to this research was supported through a NASA Earth System Sciences Fellowship (Grant no. NNG04GQ16H) and a University of Georgia Graduate School Dissertation Completion Award.

Related publication
Shrestha, M. 2014. The Changing Dynamics of Mountain Agriculture and Land Use in Lamjung, NepalGlobal Environmental Research, 18: 173-182