Dr. Bhuwan Thapa


Graduate Certificate, Data Science, University of Missouri, 2021

Ph.D., Geography, University of Arizona, 2018

M.P.P., Public Policy, University of Maryland, 2009

B.Sc., Environmental Science, McNeese State University, 2006

B.Sc., Environmental Science, St. Xavier’s College, Nepal, 2003


I am a human-environment geographer with research interests in nature-based solutions for climate risk management, community-based climate adaptation, urban food system, agroforestry, water-food-energy nexus, and irrigated agriculture. My research integrates social and ecological dimensions through system-based frameworks. As an interdisciplinary scholar, I use a wide variety of tools and techniques including spatial analysis, econometric modeling, data science, mixed methods, and policy analysis. Some of my current projects include windbreaks and climate risk management, nature-based solutions for urban climate resilience, and urban food system in the US and South Asia.

Current Courses

  • GHY 1012: Global Change of the Biosphere
  • PLN 2410: Town, City and Regional Planning
  • PLN 4030/5030: Planning for Climate Resilience
  • PLN 4460/5460: Environmental Policy and Planning


Reynolds, H.L., Mincey, S., Montoya, R. D., Hamlin, S., Sullivan, A., Thapa, B., Wilson, J., Rosing, H., Jarzen, J., & Grove, M. (2021). Green infrastructure for urban resilience: a trait-based framework. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 1540-9295, https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2020.1840962

Thapa, B., Banerjee, A., Wilson, J., & Hamlin, S. (2021). Strategic placement of urban agriculture: A spatial optimization approach. Urban Agriculture & Regional Food Systems, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1002/uar2.20019

Thapa, B., & Rahman, T. (2021). Multi-level determinants of crop choice to water stress in smallholder irrigation system of Central Nepal. Climate and Development, 13:7, 581-592. https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2020.1840962

Thapa, B., & Scott, C. A. (2019). Institutional Strategies for Adaptation to Water Stress in Farmer-Managed Irrigation Systems of Nepal. International Journal of the Commons, 13(2), 892–908. https://doi.org/10.5334/ijc.901

Merrey, D. J., Hussain, A., Tamang, D. D., Thapa, B., & Prakash, A. (2018). Evolving high altitude livelihoods and climate change: A study from Rasuwa District, Nepal. Food Security, 10(4), 1055–1071. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-018-0827-y

Scott, C. A., Albrecht, T. R., De Grenade, R., Zuniga-Teran, A., Varady, R. G., & Thapa, B. (2018). Water security and the pursuit of food, energy, and earth systems resilience. Water International, 43(8), 1055–1074. https://doi.org/10.1080/02508060.2018.1534564 [Water International Best Paper Award for 2018]

Mills-Novoa, M., Borgias, S. L., Crootof, A., Thapa, B., de Grenade, R., & Scott, C. A. (2017). Bringing the Hydrosocial Cycle into Climate Change Adaptation Planning: Lessons from Two Andean Mountain Water Towers. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 107(2),
393–402. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2016.1232618

Vij, S., Moors, E., Ahmad, B., Md. Arfanuzzaman, Bhadwal, S., Biesbroek, R., Gioli, G., Groot, A., Mallick, D., Regmi, B., Saeed, B. A., Ishaq, S., Thapa, B., Werners, S. E., & Wester, P. (2017). Climate adaptation approaches and key policy characteristics: Cases from South Asia.
Environmental Science & Policy, 78, 58–65. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2017.09.007

Thapa, B., Scott, C., Wester, P., & Varady, R. (2016). Towards characterizing the adaptive capacity of farmer-managed irrigation systems: Learnings from Nepal. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 21, 37–44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2016.10.005

de Grenade, R., House-Peters, L., Scott, C., Thapa, B., Mills-Novoa, M., Gerlak, A., & Verbist, K. (2016). The nexus: Reconsidering environmental security and adaptive capacity. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 21, 15–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2016.10.009

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Geography and Planning

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-7052

Office address
Rankin Science West 369