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Rajan Parajuli

Assistant Professor

Jordan Hall Addition 4229

Education

Ph.D. Forest Economics and Policy Louisiana State University 2015

M.S. Finance Louisiana State University 2014

M.S. Forestry Louisiana State University 2011

B.S. Forestry Tribhuvan University, Nepal 2005

Publications

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Grants

Date: 01/01/22 - 12/31/25
Amount: $648,004.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

The United States (U.S.) South, 13 southeastern states from Virginia to Texas, has approximately 245 million acres of forestland, covering about 46% of the total land use. Forestry operations, logging, and wood-based manufacturing industries are vital to the rural economy, as the forest product industry is one of the top employers among all manufacturing industries in rural counties. Since early 2020, every sector of the economy throughout the world has grappled with the global COVID-19 Pandemic, and forestry and forest product industry are no exception. The overall goal of this project is to evaluate the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on forestry and forest product industry in the U.S. South, and identify, develop, and disseminate the strategies to revitalize the southern forest-based rural economy in the post-pandemic era. The specific objectives are to: 1) evaluate the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on roundwood markets, forest landowners, and forest management in the U.S. South; 2) examine the impacts of the pandemic on forest-based employment and workforce involved in the forestry supply chain in rural southern states; 3) investigate the pandemic impacts on the forest product industry including their corporate social responsibility contribution during the pandemic; and 4) develop and deliver an Extension program in the post-pandemic forest management strategies and rural economic development to promote rural prosperity in forested counties in the U.S. South. Understanding the Pandemic impacts on the forest sector and exploring the possible forest management strategies in the post-pandemic era could help develop public policies and revitalize the forest-based rural county economies in the southern states.

Date: 04/01/20 - 3/31/25
Amount: $246,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

The US South has 245 million acres of forestland covering 46% of total land use. This region is the largest wood basket in the world where 60% of US timber derives largely from managed softwood plantations and hardwood forests. These forest systems are major economic engines to rural economies. However, nationwide, forest resources has the lowest minority representation within Food, Agricultural, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences and even lower representation in the US South. Diversity enrollment and matriculation have failed due to poor intersections of academic support, peer community support, mentoring, leadership development, and “readiness” work skills. This NNF program builds on a pilot program to pipeline minority undergraduates from HBCUs to successful graduate training in forest resources at NC State University (NCSU). The proposed program recruits HBCU undergraduates and offers pre-admission mentoring and professional development for a Master’s of Forestry at NCSU. Our NNF program will recruit and retain four, high-caliber minority forestry graduate students and prepare them for matriculation and professional success through NNF-specific programmatic, curricular, and industry experiences in forest resources. Key NNF program elements are a minority Mentoring/Leadership Community (MLC), certified forest curriculum, and industry internships in the automation, economics, biotechnology, and science communication of forest resources. The NNF cohort will mentor minority undergraduates, disseminate their experiences, network with professionals, and participate in annual NNF program performance assessment to support pipeline sustainability. This project supports USDA’s goal to develop a diverse and highly-skilled workforce for employment shortages in forest resources.

Date: 10/15/21 - 12/31/23
Amount: $150,000.00
Funding Agencies: California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)

This project will involve conducting an economic contribution analysis of the urban and community forest industries in CA and selected regions in CA.

Date: 04/01/20 - 8/31/22
Amount: $35,842.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

Loblolly pine can provide an excellent source of bioenergy in the Southeast. Optimizing the production of bioenergy can be accomplished through management practices such as stand density, silviculture, and appropriate genetics, however long-term trials are necessary to evaluate interactions among treatments and timing of peak biomass accumulation. Additionally, economical analysis is required to determine which combination of treatments optimizes not just the biological production of biomass but also results in the best return on investment. The “correct” combination of treatments will vary by site depending what resources are limiting, the cost of seedling genetics, and the number of trees planted per acre. We will evaluate the effects of silviculture, genetics (clones, controlled pollinated, and open pollinated families), and stand density on the production of biomass for bioenergy on two typical sites, one on a poorly drained site in the coastal plain and one on a well drained site in the Piedmont. Long-term and continued biomass harvesting of these treatments will help determine the optimal rotation length given different treatment scenarios. Economical analysis of each combination of treatments will provide landowners with information necessary to determine which scenario works best given local costs and market conditions.

Date: 08/15/21 - 7/31/22
Amount: $104,263.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

The overarching goal of the project is to understand how Community Forestry (CF) influenced the dynamics of the integrated Socio-Environmental System (iSES) in which CF is a vital part. To achieve this goal, the following major research questions will be addressed: (1) How does community forest governance influence the community social capital and livelihoods of participating households? (2) How does CF interact with rural out-migration? (3) How does CF feedback to land use decision? (4) How COVID-19 influenced the rural people’s livelihoods and CF? (5) How has CF influenced on the goods and services the environmental systems provide? The research will be carried out in the Middle Mountains of Nepal, where CF originated. With help from local collaborators and assistants, we will conduct comprehensive community and household surveys in the study area and use remote sensing and ecological models to address these questions. In the final stage of the project, an Integrated Modeling System (IMS) will be developed and used to examine the dynamics of the iSES.

Date: 12/01/20 - 6/30/22
Amount: $20,678.00
Funding Agencies: International Paper

This research and development project will perform a strategic analysis of wood fiber production opportunities for these two most promising wood fiber supply regions, and drilling down on the merits of a few countries that show the most promise for expansion of wood fiber production and investments in the near future. The overall objective for this research is to perform an analysis of global timber and wood fiber production opportunities for selected regions and countries in the world, focusing on newly developing timber regions and specific countries that are likely to have the most opportunity for expansion of wood fiber production. We will focus on (1) current fiber production and trends, (2) international trade, production and consumption trends of wood products (3) fiber production costs and technology (4) land availability and costs, and (5) institutional and infrastructure factors.

Date: 11/01/19 - 6/01/22
Amount: $130,663.00
Funding Agencies: Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF)

Economic contribution analysis communicates the greater monetary benefits of the urban and community forestry sector in terms of contribution to gross domestic product, jobs, and labor income to policy makers and legislators. This project will involve conducting an economic contribution analysis of the urban and community forest industries in the Southern region (a 13-state region), and in 13 participating states. The specific objectives of the project are to: (1) facilitate discussion and consensus on scope of urban and community forest industries, methodology for analysis, and report template, (2) develop and distribute relevant survey questions in cooperation with the project team, (3) document the methodology and rationale for the selected approach in a written report, (4) analyze IMPLAN and other relevant datasets for the Region, and at the state level, (5) produce reports summarizing the findings for the Region, plus each individual participating state, totaling 14 reports, and (6) present the methodology, a mid-project progress report, and a final presentation of results. To accomplish the objectives, the College of Natural Resources North Carolina State University is teamed up with Ohio State University, Virginia Tech Univeristy, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, and Mississippi State University. Our multi-disciplinary team of urban forestry professionals, natural resource social scientists, and forest economists with extensive involvement in IMPLAN modeling and economic contribution analysis is capable of accomplishing this project in a timely and efficient manner.

Date: 07/25/19 - 2/28/22
Amount: $159,733.00
Funding Agencies: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)

Economic contribution analysis of the urban forestry sector helps communicate the greater monetary benefits of the sector in terms of gross domestic product contribution and jobs to policy makers and legislators. This project will involve conducting an economic contribution analysis of the urban forest industries in the Northeastern Midwest Area (a 20-state region), and in 16 participating states. The specific objectives of the project are to: (1) facilitate discussion and consensus on scope of urban forest industries, methodology for analysis, and report template, (2) assist the Team and UW Survey Center in developing relevant survey questions and using results in Region and state level economic analyses, (3) document the methodology and rationale for the selected approach in a written report, (4) analyze IMPLAN and other relevant datasets for the Region, and at the state level, (5) produce reports summarizing the findings for the Region, plus each individual participating state, totaling 17 reports, and (6) present the methodology, a mid-project progress report, and a final presentation of results. To accomplish the objectives, the College of Natural Resources North Carolina State University is teamed up with Ohio State University, Oklahoma State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Mississippi State University. Our multi-disciplinary team of urban forestry professionals, natural resource social scientists, and forest economists with extensive involvement in IMPLAN modeling and economic contribution analysis is capable of accomplishing this project in a timely and efficient manner.

Date: 12/15/19 - 12/31/21
Amount: $40,140.00
Funding Agencies: International Paper Co.

In order to address the critical problems in wood procurement modeling for pulp and paper mills or major solid wood mills, the proposed Pilot project will develop a Decision Support System (DSS), called Stochastic Timber Supply Model (STSM), that integrates a Harvesting Schedule Model (HSM) for wood procurement with a Timber Supply Model (TSM). The purpose of this model would be to provide integrated, endogenous wood fiber supply analyses through harvest scheduling linked to timber supply and landowner characteristics. The STSM will incorporate landowner decisions in its response to market price changes, and provide explicit means to assess the variability of the input in the outcomes of TSMs. First, we will build a new DSS which users can add their forest asset data and analyze the interaction between individual supply and market variables with an option of a stochastic component. This will include market data for an individual mill or wood basket, then scaled up to a region. Second, we will investigate how minor changes in the NC State University SubRegional Timber Supply (SRTS) model inputs and assumptions can lead to different outcomes.

Date: 06/01/19 - 12/31/21
Amount: $79,028.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service

This project will assess the timber resource availability and sustainability in North Carolina. The specific objectives are to: • Assess historical trends in forest land-use changes and resource inventory in survey units in North Carolina using the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) dataset. • Based on the current state of timber supply and demand, project annual timber inventory, removals, and prices by species types and grades using the Sub-Regional Timber Supply (SRTS) model. The projection analyses will be for the entire state, FIA survey units, and specific wood-basket regions. • Estimate demand and supply models of hardwood and softwood pulpwood markets for two micro-markets in North Carolina, and evaluate the impact of emergence of wood pellets industry in pulpwood stumpage. Based on the estimated market-specific price elasticity values, update the SRTS model (new elasticity values and 2017 TPO data) and examine the pulpwood resource sustainability in North Carolina micro-markets. • Assess the hardwood resource availability and sustainability in North Carolina from a mills’ perspective. We will conduct sensitivity analyses to refine just accessible hardwood resources and their sustainable uses. • [OPTIONAL] Identify the major hotspots where new forest-based industries could be best positioned to sustainably utilize forest resource feedstock for different products in North Carolina. Use a Hot Spot Analysis tool—available in ArcGIS—which calculates the Getis-Ord (GI) statistics in each FIA plot, taking into account the woody resources in its surrounding plots.


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