Glaciers, disaster risks and society

Reducing Glacial Lake Outburst Flooding Risks

In this interdisciplinary research project Science-driven, Community-based Approach to Reducing Glacier Lake Flooding, funded by the National Science Foundation’s Dynamics of Coupled Natural Human Systems (CNH) Grant, I collaborate with Dr. Daene McKinney (Water Resource and Civil Engineering professor at University of Texas, Austin) and Dr. Alton Byers (Mountain Geographer at INSTAAR of University of Colorado, Boulder) to reduce the GLOF risks in the Imja Tsho/Lake of the Everest region. In this three years long project, ASU leads the social sciences component, which captures the Sherpa perceptions of risks associated with GLOFs, risk mapping, and community-based flood hazards management and risk reduction system. We focus on the glaciers and hydrological resources, lake expansion, past flooding events, flora and fauna, and mountain societies and livelihoods. Socio-cultural data collected from the study will help in the assessment of local ecological knowledge and understanding of hydrological resources and the vulnerability of the social-ecological system to GLOF hazards.


Byers, A. C, M. B. Chand, J. Lala, M. Shrestha, E. A. Byers, and T. Watanabe. (2020). Reconstructing the History of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) in the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, East Nepal: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Sustainability, 12(13), 5407;

Thompson, I., M. Shrestha, N. Chhetri, & D. B. Agusdinata. (2020). An institutional analysis of glacial floods and disaster risk management in the Nepal Himalaya. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 47: 101567. DOI: 

Sherpa, S., M. Shrestha, H. Eakin, H., & C. G. Boone. (2019). Cryospheric Hazards and Risks Perceptions in the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park and Buffer Zone, Nepal. Natural Hazards.

Hudson, A., M. Shrestha. 2018. When Disaster is Always Looming. Future Tense.