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Milan Shrestha

Milan Shrestha

Senior Lecturer, School of Sustainability


School of Sustainability
Arizona State University
PO Box 875502
Tempe, AZ 85287-5502


  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Senior Lecturer, School of Sustainability
  • Affiliated Faculty, School for the Future of Innovation in Society


A socio-cultural anthropologist specialized in environmental anthropology, agriculture and food systems, and international development, Milan Shrestha is currently a lecturer (School of Sustainability) and Senior Sustainability Scientist (Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability) at Arizona State University (ASU). He received a PhD degree (ecological and environmental anthropology) from the University of Georgia and a MA degree (international development and social change) from Clark University. He also completed a post-doctoral research in ASU’s Central Arizona – Phoenix Long-term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) focused on a cross-site comparative study of urban sprawl and land fragmentation in five southwestern cities of the USA.

With the long-term research focus in Nepal and the US Southwest, he is interested in sustainability science and anthropological applications in five core research areas: land change and landscape fragmentation; food security and vulnerability; adaptation to climate change; indigenous knowledge and community-based institutions; and sustainable urban dynamics. His current research projects include “Science-driven, Community-based Approach to Reducing Glacier Lake Outburst Flood Risks in the Nepal Himalaya” (funded by NSF) and “Urban Conversions of Agricultural Lands in the Kathmandu Valley and the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.” His publications have appeared in Global Environmental Research, Applied Geography, The Professional Geographer, Urban Ecosystem, and the Himalaya.

Prior to coming to ASU, Milan was Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC, and has worked at the grassroots level for more than five years in sustainable development projects. He has also served on the executive council of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS) and the Culture & Agriculture Section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA).


  • PhD, Anthropology, University of Georgia
  • MA, International Development, Clark University


External Links

Journal Articles


Byers, A. C., E. Byers, M. Shrestha, D. Thapa and B. Sharma. 2020. Impacts of Yartsa gunbu harvsting on alpine ecosystems in the Barun Valley, Makalu-Barun National Park, Nepal. Himalaya 39(2):Art. 8. (link )

Thompson, I., M. Shrestha, N. Chhetri and 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(Aug):101567. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101567. (link )


Sherpa, S. F., M. Shrestha, H. Eakin and C. G. Boone. 2019. Cryospheric hazards and risk perceptions in the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park and Buffer Zone, Nepal. Natural Hazards 96:607-626. DOI: 10.1007/s11069-018-3560-0. (link )


Ishtiaque, A., M. Shrestha and N. B. Chhetri. 2017. Rapid urban growth in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal: Monitoring land use cover dynamics of a Himalayan city with Landsat imageries. Environments 4(4):Art. 72. DOI: 10.3390/environments4040072. (link )


Chaudhury, P., N. B. Chhetri, B. Dorman, T. Gegg, R. B. Rana, M. Shrestha, K. Thapa, K. Lamsal and S. Thapa. 2015. Turning conflict into collaboration in managing commons: A case of Rupa Lake Watershed, Nepal. International Journal of the Commons 9(2):744-771. (link )


Shrestha, M. 2014. The dynamics of mountain agriculture and land change in Lamjung District, Nepal. Global Environmental Research 18(2):151-169.


Zhang, S., A. M. York, C. G. Boone and M. Shrestha. 2013. Methodological advances in the spatial analysis of land fragmentation. The Professional Geographer 65(3):512-526. DOI: 10.1080/00330124.2012.700501. (link )


Shrestha, M., A. M. York, C. G. Boone and S. Zhang. 2012. Land fragmentation due to rapid urbanization in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area: Analyzing the spatiotemporal patterns and drivers. Applied Geography 32(2):522-531. DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2011.04.004. (link )


York, A. M., M. Shrestha, C. G. Boone, S. Zhang, J. Harrington, T. Prebyl, A. Swann, M. Agar, M. Antolin, B. Nolin, J. Wright and R. Skaggs. 2011. Land fragmentation under rapid urbanization: A cross-site analysis of southwestern cities. Urban Ecosystems 14(3):429-455. DOI: 10.1007/s11252-011-0157-8. (link )



Ishtiaque, A. and M. Shrestha. 2018. Urbanization in the Himalayas? Detecting loss of agricultural land due to urban growth in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Poster presented at the 20th Annual CAP LTER All Scienitists Meeting and Poster Symposium, January 5, 2018, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )


Sherpa, S. F. and M. Shrestha. 2017. Glacial lake outburst flood risks in the Everest region, Nepal: Analyzing the governance and institutional factors of mitigation options. Poster presented at the 19th Annual Central-Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, 13 January 2017, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ. (link )


Zhang, S., A. M. York, C. G. Boone and M. Shrestha. 2010. Land fragmentation under rapid urbanization: A cross-site comparative analysis. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Poster presented at the January 14, 2010 12th Annual Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Poster Symposium, Global Institute of Sustainability.


Shrestha, M., S. Zhang, A. M. York, C. G. Boone, J. Wright, J. Harrington, M. Antolin, B. Nolen, T. Prebyl, M. Agar and A. Swann. 2009. Socioecological gradients and land fragmentation: A cross-site comparative analysis. Estes Park, CO. Poster presented at 14-16 September 20009 LTER All Scientists Meeting, Integrating Science and Society in a World of Constant Change.

Zhang, S., M. Shrestha, A. M. York and C. G. Boone. 2009. Socioecological gradients and land fragmentation in Central Arizona-Phoenix. Estes Park, CO. Poster presented at 14-16 September 20009 LTER All Scientists Meeting, Integrating Science and Society in a World of Constant Change.



Shrestha, M., N. B. Chhetri and P. Chaudhary. 2014. Long-term changes in livestock management and mountain agroecology in the Upper Gondaki River Basin. Presentation at the Mountain Observatories - A Global Fair and Workshop on Long-Term Observing Systems of Mountain Social-Ecological Systems, 16-19 July 2014, University of Nevada-Reno.


Shrestha, M. A., A. M. York, S. Zhang and C. G. Boone. 2010. Rapid urbanization and land fragmentation in the US Southwest: A socio-ecological gradient analysis. Tempe, AZ. Presentation at the 15-19 October 2010 International Conference on Urbanization and Global Environmental Change -- The Global Land Project.

Zhang, S., A. M. York, C. G. Boone and M. Shrestha. 2010. Water provisioning as a driving force of land fragmentation in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Presented April 16, 2010 as part of an Interactive Short Paper Session at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Washington DC.


Shrestha, M., A. M. York, C. G. Boone and S. Zhang. 2009. A cross-site comparative analysis of land fragmentation, Part 1 and Part 2. Estes Park, CO. Working group organizer report presented at 14-16 September 20009 LTER All Scientists Meeting, Integrating Science and Society in a World of Constant Change.