Student Focus - Baburam Rijal
I am from Nepal, a highly mountainous and naturally beautiful country. I did dual undergraduates degrees in Science and Forestry in Nepal, and served for more than half decade as a forestry officer in government and non-government organizations. I attended graduate school in Germany with full funding scholarship from German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD) and completed a Master’s of Science in tropical and international forestry. Since the fall of 2008, I have been working on my PhD in forest biometrics under the guidance of my principle advisor, Dr. Aaron Weiskittel.
I am very interested in international forestry issues. To date, I have participated in several international courses, trainings, seminars and presentations in different countries such as Brazil, China, Colombia, Germany, India, and UK.
With respect to forest biometrics, I have been improving my knowledge by taking relevant classes such as statistics, biometrics, silviculture, stand dynamics, mensuration etc, learning several software programs (R, SAS, GIS) and practicing with hands-on projects. I am happy to share my understanding to fellow graduates and undergraduate students, particularly in quantitative research.
For my dissertation, I have been working on growth and yield (G & Y) modeling of the Acadian Forest, which covers northeastern US and southeastern Canada. It is a transition site of the boreal forests of north and mixed conifer and hardwood forest to the south. Therefore, the forest is quite unique with full of diversity in forest ecosystem. An extensive regional database has been constructed and will be the basis of my dissertation work. My primary concern is to build suitable statistical models of the updated data for management purposes in the region. More specifically, I am focusing on developing regional equations for: (1) individual tree height and height to crown base; (2) stand level basal area growth; and (3) stand-level growth modifiers for alternative thinning regimes. Construction of a generalized and regional G & Y model for such a diversified ecosystem is really challenging. Nevertheless, I am very much excited and interested in utilizing modern statistical and computational tools.