Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics


Earth and Environmental Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Pankaj Lal

Committee Member

Neeraj Vedwan

Committee Member

Bernabas Wolde

Committee Member

Omkar Joshi


Developing countries have a large population that is dependent on farming and agriculture, making them more heavily reliant on natural resources like forest and water. Nepal is one of such countries, with a unique geography where much of the population lives in close proximity to conservation areas and water bodies. Due to these natural features and increased environmental pressures such as extreme storms and deforestation, many of these communities have experienced loss, ranging from property damage to human injury or death because of the related extreme flooding and increased humanwildlife conflict. These challenges are amplified in Nepal due to the nation’s dependency on agriculture for their livelihood; the resources required to ensure resilience to such events are scarce. The second chapter of this research focuses on human-wildlife conflict (HWC) issues. While a government-issued HWC compensation policy exists, it has proven ineffective for victims that have low accessibility to even report their loss; this study aims to explore possible factors influencing the propensity to report loss. All 197 survey participants reported suffering from crop raid by wild animals, and about 60% reported livestock death. Results revealed that socio-demographic factors such as age, gender and family size, in addition to the wild animal species responsible for loss, were statistically significant in influencing the likelihood of reporting loss. The third chapter of this research focuses on the individuals’ likelihood of recovery from emotional trauma after extreme flooding events evaluating both tangible and intangible loss, as well as the role of demographic and socioeconomic factors that affect the likelihood of an individual’s emotional recovery. An in-person household survey conducted in 2017 found that approximately 89% of respondents had not recovered from trauma that they experienced due to a severe flood in 2014, which was the most recent high damaging flood at the time of the survey. Factors such as the size of land held and the loss of livestock, agricultural land, assets, and/or houses were statistically significant in predicting the likelihood of recovery. The research findings from these studies investigates the role of policy design to improve governmental assistance within disaster-affected communities in developing nations. In these particularly sensitive regions of the world, it is essential that policy design meet ecological needs while addressing social equity to ensure economic and environmental resilience.

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