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Natural Resources Students Named to Inaugural Class of Goodnight Doctoral Fellows

Prabin Bhusal and Morgan Arteman, both of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, are among the 30 students at NC State to be named to the inaugural class of Goodnight Doctoral Fellowship recipients. 

Launched in December 2022, the Goodnight Doctoral Fellowship provides an annual $40,000 stipend to each recipient in support of their education and research. It is made possible by a partnership between Dr. Jim and Mrs. Ann Goodnight, longtime NC State supporters and alumni, and the Goodnight Educational Foundation and NC State. 

“Receiving this prestigious award means a lot of respect, recognition, and encouragement to me, and I am delighted to be one of the recipients this year,” Bhusal said. “I am grateful for the recognition of my accomplishments and efforts, and it has inspired me to work harder to contribute to science for the benefit of forestry, the environment, and the people.”

Bhusal is currently working to identify the socioeconomic and political processes that influence the institutions of community forestry and the consequences of community forest governance on the socioeconomic dynamics in rural mid-hills of Nepal. More specifically, his work focuses on the activities, processes, and feedback that affect and are affected by people’s livelihoods in community forestry and its inherent ecosystem services. 

Before starting his Ph.D. at NC State in 2022, Bhusal served as an assistant professor of natural resource management at the Institute of Forestry at Tribhuvan University in Napal. He has already published 14 journal articles in forestry and natural resource management and secured a number of competitive research grants and awards. 

When asked how it feels to be named a Goodnight Doctoral Fellow, Arteman said: “I feel incredibly fortunate to have been selected in the inaugural class of Goodnight Doctoral Fellows. This fellowship will enable my family to be more financially stable while I continue my education and research. I appreciate the opportunity to represent natural resources research on this stage.”

For her doctoral thesis, Arteman is studying the effects of harvesting on tree physiology and growth and ecosystem carbon and water dynamics in an upland hardwood forest located just south of Ashville, North Carolina in the Pisgah National Forest. She is currently preparing to author four peer-reviewed journal articles summarizing her research. 

Arteman previously served as a research associate with the NC State Forest Productivity Cooperative where she organized, led and assisted with several studies focused on the productivity of forest plantations. She earned her master’s degree in forest resources and environmental conservation from Virginia Tech in 2017. 

Beyond coursework, Bhusal and Arteman have both served as mentors to undergraduate and graduate students during their time at NC State. Bhusal has advised more than 20 college-aged students on projects related to forest management and policy, while Arteman has mentored one high school student and three undergraduates. 

Bhusal is expected to continue his doctoral studies at NC State through 2027 under the guidance of Rajan Parajuli, an assistant professor of forestry and environmental resources. Meanwhile, Arteman is expected to graduate in December 2023. She is in the process of finalizing her doctoral research under the guidance of Jodi Forrester, an associate professor of forestry and environmental resources.