Birendra Bajracharya is the Chief of Party for the SERVIR-HKH initiative at ICIMOD. Mr Bajracharya joined ICIMOD in 1995 as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist. He holds an MSc in Geo-Informatics from the International Institute of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), the Netherlands, an MBA from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, and BE in Civil Engineering from University of Rajasthan, India. He has vast experience in spatial data infrastructure, decision support systems, and GIS and remote sensing (RS) applications in relation to natural resources, biodiversity, conservation planning, and protected area management. He has also been involved in developing various training courses on GIS/RS and has conducted training programmes in all of ICIMOD’s eight regional member countries. He is also coordinator of SERVIR-Himalaya, a joint initiative with NASA and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for developing earth observation, monitoring, and visualisation systems that integrate satellite and other geospatial data for improved scientific knowledge and decision-making.
As a programme officer, I support successful programme implementation from planning and reporting to monitoring and evaluation. Moreover, I also support in developing agriculture-related information systems and services for the programme.
As the Senior Programme Associate for the Mountain Environment Regional Information Systems Regional Programme, my roles are varied and include carrying out all administrative and logistics communications and planning in relation to all capacity building events conducted by the SERVIR-HKH initiative and all other meetings and workshops; fulfilling public relation duties for regional, national, and international meetings; preparing contracts; preparing stories on SERVIR-HKH achievements; and I have proudly served as a long-standing member of our Gender Resource Team.
I facilitate admininstrative and logistics requirements, contributing also to event management for the SERVIR-HKH initiative.
Dr Mir Matin has more than twenty years of experience in leading geospatial teams for various national and international organisation and projects. He is working as Science and Data lead for USAID funded SERVIR Hindukush Himalaya project at ICIMOD to lead development of high quality user tailored applications and models to support decision making in the area of agriculture and food security, water weather and climate, disaster risk reduction, and land cover, forest and ecosystem management. Earlier, he was leading the SERVIR demand team at ICIMOD to implement user engagement, communication, monitoring and evaluation of SERVIR activities. Before joining ICIMOD, he has worked three years for International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Sri Lanka as head of GIS/RS/Database unit and ten years at Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) in Bangladesh in multiple positions including head of GIS and Remote sensing division. He served as key specialist in many large projects to provide guidance and technical support for applying Geospatial tools and analysis for solving water, environment and agriculture related issues. He has Ph.D. in forestry with emphasis on remote sensing, GIS and hydro-ecological modelling from the University of New Brunswick, Canada, M.Sc in Geoinformatics from ITC, University of Twente, Netherlands, M.Sc. in Mathematics from Dhaka University, Bangladesh and MBA in digital technology Management from Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC, Canada.
I joined the thematic area Geospatial Solutions team in December, 2018 as a Capacity Building Training Analyst and I work with the SERVIR-HKH initiative to enhance the capacity of regional governments and stakeholders on the use of Earth observation (EO) information, products and tools across the HKH region. I support capacity building events through designing training materials and exercises, conducting trainings, and acting as a resource person in the trainings. Capacity building is a key strength of ICIMOD to disseminate innovative and advanced approaches of geoinformation technology (GIT) and EO data.
Dr Thapa holds a MA in geography from Tribhuvan University (TU), Nepal; an MSc degree in remote sensing and GIS from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand; and a PhD degree in geoenvironmental science from the University of Tsukuba (UT), Japan.
He was a lecturer with TU from 1998 to 2002, a researcher with AIT from 2004 to 2005, JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow with UT from 2009 to 2011, and an invited researcher with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Japan from 2011 to 2016. He is also a UT visiting professor. Dr Thapa was the recipient of the University of Tsukuba Outstanding Research Award in 2008 and the Nepal Biddya Bhusan First Class Award for academic achievement from the President of Nepal in 2010.
Dr Thapa develops methods for mapping land-use and land cover; spatial modelling to explain and forecast the expansion of urban areas and deforestation; tracking tropical forest carbon stocks and CO2 emission risk; and spatial decision support for peri-urban agriculture. He specialises in urban monitoring, forest monitoring, forest carbon tracking, agriculture monitoring, and disaster monitoring and damage assessment.
His research focuses on monitoring and assessment of terrestrial environment including forest, agriculture, urban, and disasters, and the dissemination of Earth observation findings to policy makers, university students, and stakeholders through education, capacity building workshops, conferences, and publications.
As a Geospatial Associate in Data Science, my work focuses on machine learning and includes conducting literature review on machine learning approaches used in geospatial data and accumulating ideas on achieving solutions to real world problems. At the moment, I’m also working on solving image classification and object detection problems using machine learning approaches, performing pre- and post-processing of geospatial data for machine learning and deep learning workflows and running models using Google’s tensorflow library.
Kiran Shakya is a Nepali national joined ICIMOD as Remote Sensing Database Specialist under Mountain Environment Regional Information System (MENRIS) at ICIMOD. He has started his career at ICIMOD in early 2000. Mr Shakya holds a Master degree (MSc) in Photogrammetry and geo-informatics from Stuttgart University of applied sciences, Germany and Bachelor’s degree in engineering (B.E. in computer engineering) from Kathmandu University (KU), Nepal. He is a qualified professional with long experience in software development cycle, analysis design and development of spatial/non-spatial database, international standard metadata management, eco-system management, biodiversity conservation, climate change, GIS and remote sensing, capacity building and project management. He is also GIT expert of SERVIR-Himalaya, a joint initiative with NASA and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for developing earth observation, monitoring, and visualisation systems that integrate satellite and other geospatial data for improved scientific knowledge and decision-making.
As a Senior GIS specialist, he has also worked with Survey & Land Registration Bureau (SLRB), Manama, Bahrain for two years. Leading the GIS team in developing various land-use related applications and quality control of SLRB GIS database. Similarly, he has worked with Himalayan InfoTech Services as Senior System Administrator for a year.
As a Geo-Information System Analyst in the Geospatial Solutions Theme, I’m responsible for analysis, design and development of spatial and non-spatial desktop, web and mobile applications, inclusive of front-end and back-end components. I’m also responsible for the development of automation tools and support the team by developing any required server-side geoprocessing tools and services to carry out on-the-fly spatial analysis resulting in the form of maps, charts, and tables. Some of my major outcomes are the Nepal Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction Information Portal, the Afghanistan Irrigation Information System, HKH Climate and Hydrology Portal, Food Security Information System in Nepal, the Koshi Basin Information System and an internal Capacity Building Beneficiary Tracking Tool and Partnership Relation Management System.
I support many initiatives in identifying their software development needs and then developing customized web and mobile applications.
My work involves the development of GIS-based web applications through open source platforms along with geospatial data analysis and structuring.
Sudip Pradhan is a Nepali national working as the Programme Coordinator of Regional Database System (RDS) Initiative under the Mountain Environment Regional Information System (MENRIS) at ICIMOD. He started his career at ICIMOD in March 2000. He holds an MSc in Geographic Information Science from University College London (UCL) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Mathematical Statistics from Cambridge University, where he studied under a Nepal Cambridge Scholarship. He was awarded the Mahendra Vidya Bhusan, the gold medal, for topping his batch in the BSc level at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Mr Pradhan has long experience in design and development of spatial/non-spatial databases and information systems, and in spatial analysis and modelling. Besides ICIMOD, he also worked as an Applications Developer at Geofutures, Bath, UK for about two years. Mr Pradhan coordinates the development of a center-wide Regional Database System at ICIMOD. In addition, he also oversees the development of web-based GIS/DSS tools and applications including fully automated information systems.
I am responsible for data visualization application and story map development and for processing of data and metadata for entry into our open access data repository Regional Database System (RDS). I also provide technical support to colleagues in the creation of metadata and the development of story maps.
Dr Chanda Gurung Goodrich, an Indian National, joined ICIMOD as the Senior Gender Specialist in March 2014. She holds an MPhil and PhD from the School of International Relations in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. Prior to joining ICIMOD, she worked as the Principal Scientist-Empower Women in the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad, India, from March 2012 – March 2014. Before that she was in the South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies (SaciWATERs), Hyderabad, India from March 2007 to February 2012, first as the Senior Fellow-Research and then as the Project Director/Executive Director. She has also worked in CIMMYT, Kathmandu, South Asia Regional office prior to this. At ICIMOD Dr Goodrich is in charge of ensuring and promoting gender integration within the Centre and operationally in the programmatic areas. Dr Goodrich’s professional interest is in gender research in natural resource management, agriculture and livelihoods, especially for small holder farmers.
Utsav Maden currently works as a Knowledge Management and Communication Officer for the Mountain Environment Regional Information Systems Regional Programme. In the past eleven years, he has held various positions within the KMC unit at ICIMOD. He has worked as the KM/Communication focal point for Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP), underpinning development of knowledge products—information sheets, reports, shorts, and videos—and proactive engagement of mainstream media. Among his many roles at ICIMOD, he has driven ICIMOD’s monthly news digest, and social media presence, moderated multiple communities of practice, and developed a centre wide contact database.
Maden received an honours degree in environmental science from Kathmandu University in 2005. He is an avid photographer, a social media enthusiast, and a prolific reader of fiction. He tinkers with the web at utsavmaden.com.np.
My role as web content management assistant is to manage all the web content for our website and our internal information sharing intranet platform. I try to make the web pages informative, visually stunning and easily accessible so that users can easily understand the content and access other interesting content across the site.
Lalu Maya Kadel, joined ICIMOD in August 2013, is a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist. She has extensive experience working in major domains of programme design, strategic planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Her expertise covers programme development and planning, gender responsive monitoring and evaluation system design, mixed method evaluation, result-based management, capacity building and training, and programme quality assurance. She has a proven track record of being instrumental in bringing a gender and equity focus to several organizations for the effective management of gendered outcomes.
Kadel has played leading roles in developing and/or strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation system, developing gender sensitive indicators, M&E Frameworks and Tools aligned with program theory of change (TOC) and impact pathway at ICIMOD. Her particular areas of interest are sustainable, equitable and people-centric development, research, and knowledge management. Her experience derives from direct involvements with DANIDA/NARMSAP, CARE Nepal, UNFPA, Practical Action South Asia Regional Office and ICIMOD. She holds an MSc in Statistics, an MA in Sociology, and a BSc in Forestry and General Science.
Naina Shakya joined ICIMOD in April 2010 and is currently working as the Partnership and Private Sector Specialist within the Strategic Cooperation Unit. At ICIMOD, Mrs Shakya leads the partnering approach implementation and private sector engagement activities. She also coordinates activities related to regional cooperation at the institutional level. Prior to joining ICIMOD, Mrs Shakya worked with the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok for eight years in various capacities, most recently as Coordinator of Partner Relations and Development in the External Relations and Communications Office. She brings with her relevant international experience in partnerships, establishing and managing collaborative relationships and networks with government agencies, international development agencies, academic and research institutions, INGOs, NGOs, and the private sector. Earlier, Mrs Shakya worked for various projects with USAID/Nepal, UMN/Nepal, ADB/Philippines, and Focus on the Global South/Philippines. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a specialisation in marketing from Kathmandu University and a second master’s degree in sociology from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Manila.
Santosh Raj Pathak is currently working as Partnership Contract Officer under strategic cooperation unit. He joined ICIMOD as small grants associate in March 2014 under SERVIR Himalaya Initiative. Before joining ICIMOD, Santosh has worked as procurement consultant for ministry of federal affairs and local development and in grants department for two USAID funded projects: Nepal Economics Agriculture and Trade (NEAT) Activity and Nepal Transition Initiative (NTI). He also has experience working in banking and corporate sector. He has completed his MBA with finance major from Ace Institute of Management. He has a passion for photography and loves trekking.
Kabir Uddin is a Bangladeshi national working in the Geospatial Solutions Theme, where he is involved in Geospatial application in thematic mapping and spatial analysis to ecosystem management, disaster management including capacity building and training. Mr Uddin holds a BSc (Hons) in Geography and Environmental Studies and an MSc in Geography and Environmental Studies, both from the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. During his BSc and MSc, he studied geography, environment, geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) as major subjects. Mr Uddin has nine years working experience in geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) applications in the field of environmental management. After graduation he worked at Development Design Consultants Ltd for the Rajshahi City Town Planning Project, where he comprehensively used GIS, Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) and Total Station for town planning. In 2003, he joined Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Bangladesh as a GIS expert, where he served until joining ICIMOD in 2006.”
As a Remote Sensing and Geo-information Analyst under our SERVIR-HKH Initiative, my key role is to provide precise scientific information on climate change vulnerability and degradation of forest ecosystems using geoinformation technology and Earth observation data. I also contribute in developing methodology and suitability of solar-powered irrigation systems for Bangladesh and Pakistan.
My areas of expertise include hydro-meteorological data analysis, spatial data analysis and modelling, glacio-hydrological and snow modelling, and remote sensing of snow cover areas. I hold an MSc in Environmental Sciences from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India and an MS by Research in Glaciology from Kathmandu University, Nepal. I have four years’ professional experience in cryosphere research.
My role within the Geospatial Solutions Theme primarily focuses on crop monitoring, food security assessment, climate data analysis, and vulnerability mapping.
I collect, analyse, and process various spatial and other data sets including high- to medium-resolution satellite images from different sources for environmental variables monitoring and change detection in the HKH region.
Sudan Bikash Maharjan joined ICIMOD as a Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst in September 2009 and is working on glacier mapping and inventory of glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region. Prior to joining ICIMOD, he worked as a research assistant for Water Aid Nepal in monitoring, modelling and designing, and data analysis of shallow groundwater recharge through rainwater harvesting in Patan, Kathmandu. He has also worked as consultant and hydro-geologist in a feasibility study of groundwater and in the supervision of tube well installation in the Terai region of Nepal. Mr Maharjan holds a Master’s degree in Geology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.
Sajana Maharjan joined ICIMOD in December 2015 as an SSA (GIS and Remote Sensing Analyst) in Geospatial Solutions for the program Himalica. She is working on interpretation of very high resolution satellite data. She is also involved in fieldwork for validation of satellite based thematic maps, and resource inventory and quantification in the Nepal pilot site. Prior to joining ICIMOD, she worked in Forest Resource Assessment Nepal (FRA Nepal) as GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist. Beside GIS and Remote Sensing knowledge and expertise, she has experience working on EIA/IEE studies on several development projects such as hydropower, transmission lines, bridges and roads.
Maharjan completed BSc in environmental science from Kathmandu University and MSc in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation specialising in natural resources management from ITC, University of Twente, the Netherlands.
Dr Vishwas Chitale joined as Remote Sensing Analyst – Ecosystems in August 2015. He provides geospatial data and analysis support to ecosystems based studies of different regional programs such as Adaptation to Climate Change, Transboundary Landscapes and MENRIS. He holds a PhD from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, India, where his research focused on the patterns of plant diversity and endemism in four global biodiversity hotspots within India using geospatial tools and modelling techniques. His research has been published in various peer-reviewed journals and has been presented at various national and international conferences.
After pursuing his Post graduate degree in Geoinformatics from Pune University, India he worked on various projects of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India. He was the Research Scholars’ Representative to the institute and was actively involved in various extra-curricular activities at IIT Kharagpur.
Dr Bhupesh Adhikary joined ICIMOD as Air Quality Specialist on March 2014. He was born and brought up in Kathmandu, Nepal. He has double Bachelors, in Economics and Engineering, and MS and PhD in Chemical Engineering, all from universities in the US. He is an expert in regional scale atmospheric chemical transport modeling and his work has focused on different regions of the world studying air pollutant characteristics. He has worked in many international projects such as the NASA-led ICARTT, INTEX-B, ARCTAS, CARB missions, UNEP-led ABC project and NCAR-NOAA-led PACDEX mission.
Post PhD, Bhupesh returned to Nepal and joined Kathmandu University as an assistant professor. After KU, he joined the EvK2CNR Committee as their resident scientific coordinator where he established a numerical modeling laboratory capable of providing real time weather forecasts and pollutant concentration analysis. He was also involved in the initial setting up and later daily operation of an air quality laboratory in Kathmandu measuring pollutants such as ozone, PM, black carbon. At ICIMOD, Bhupesh is working on understanding the science and mitigation aspects of air pollution in the HKH region using chemical transport models, in-situ, and satellite based observations.
Faisal M. Qamer joined ICIMOD as Remote Sensing Specialist in 2011. He holds an MSc in Geomatics from Karlsruhe University, Germany. He has 15 years of experience in applying Geospatial Science to nature conservation, water resource management, and agro-ecosystem issues with a strong background in spatial analysis and modeling, information sharing strategies, institutional capacity building, and project management. Before coming to ICIMOD, he was working at WWF-Pakistan as GIS Manager. He has published several papers in peer-reviewed national and international journals.
Within our Geospatial Solutions Theme, I work in the agriculture and climate services group and use geospatial state-of-the-art technology for activities related to agriculture and food security in the region such as developing an operational framework for crop area mapping, vegetation health monitoring, yield forecasting, and rangeland monitoring. My work creates a nexus between science and policy and facilitates timely decision making to sustainably manage natural resources. I’m also involved in the dissemination of Earth observation findings to university students and other stakeholders through education, capacity building workshops, conferences, and publications.
Since I joined ICIMOD in October 2018, I have been leading the development, dissemination and application of remote sensing and geo-information services in the field of water resources and disaster risk reduction, coordinating with partners on user engagement and networking, leading the preparation and publication of research results, training materials, concept papers, project proposals, coordinating knowledge and capacity development events in water resources and disaster risk reduction.
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