Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST)

Science & Technology for National Development

Science for Society : Innovation for Prosperity

Environment Research Laboratory

Deepa Shree Rawal, PhD

Coordinator

E. mail- deepa.rawal@nast.gov.np; rawalshree@hotmail.com

Tel:+ 977 1 5547715 ext 258

 

Background

Environment research laboratory conducts research on environment related issues. Major programs of this laboratory are: Water and wastewater treatment; Hydrospheric and atmospheric research, Biodiversity conservation and climate change. In addition this laboratory also provides water quality monitoring and analytical service.

 

Current programs

1. Water and Wastewater Treatment

  • This program is focused on the development of cost effective methods for the removal of chemical contaminants (toxic metal, non-metal, and metalloids) from water and wastewaters using locally available low-cost materials.

Team Members

Dr. Bhoj Raj Pant (bhojraj.pant@nast.gov.np; environmentnast@gmail.com)

Dr. Deepa Shree Rawal (deepa.rawal@nast.gov.np; rawalshree@hotmail.com)

Mr. Agni Dhakal (agnidhakal1@gmail.com)

2. Hydrospheric and Atmospheric Research

This program aims to study hydro-meteorological processes in the Himalayan region of Khumbu region. The specific objectives are to; study the impact of climate change on climatic extremes (rainfall and temperature), comparison of the satellite products, and possible applications for glacier monitoring.

Team Member

 Mr. Devesh Koirala (devesh.koirala@nast.gov.np; koiraladevesh@gmail.com)

3. Water Quality and Analysis Service

  • Water Quality Analysis

The aim of this program is to provide water quality analysis service. Water samples of different sources like ground water, surface water, stone spouts, tap water and bottled water are analysed in this laboratory.

  • Removal of organic arsenic using adsorbents from water

Organic arsenic such asmethylated arsenic in water has caused a series of health problems to human beings. Monomethylarsenate (MMA) and dimethylarsenate (DMA) are synthesized by some bacteria and fungi, which can be generated through the methylation of inorganic arsenic species such as arsenite and arsenate. Additionally, methylated arsenic species can enter into the environment via industrial and agricultural activities. As a result of the widespread distribution and toxicity of methylated arsenic in the environment, research on methylated arsenic removal from water is essential. The main objective of this investigation is to better understand the removal process of organic arsenic onto adsorbent.

Team Members

Dr. Sujen Man Shrestha (sujen.shrestha@nast.gov.np; sjnshrestha321@gmail.com)

Dr. Tista Prasai Joshi (tista.prasai@nast.gov.np; tistaprasai@gmail.com)

 

4. Biodiversity Conservation and climate change

Mainly following programs are currently been conducted under Biodiversity Conservation research. 

  • Sustainable Utilization and cultivation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) for Biodiversity Conservation

Wide and wild collection of MAPs is one of the major problems of Churia forests of Nepal that has led to MAPs depletion causing forest disturbance consequently affecting biodiversity conservation. This program therefore aims to identify highly depleted MAPs and aware local people about sustainable harvesting techniques and practices to reduce biodiversity depletion. Moreover, this program also aims to promote in situ cultivation of highly depleted MAPs to reduce forest dependency of the local community and aid biodiversity conservation. 
Main activity carried out under this program is to provide technical guidance and support to the local community about the sustainable utilization and cultivation of MAPs. For this Manahari community forest user group of Makwanpur district has been involved for the cultivation of Sarpagandha (Rauvolfia serpentina) and Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) for trial practice. Similar programs are also going to be extended in Hariharpur of Dhanusha district and in far west of Nepal in the fiscal year 2076/2077. The major implication of such program would mainly be the livelihood support to the local community that subsequently reduces forest disturbance benefiting biodiversity conservation. 
 

Team Members

Dr. Deepa Shree Rawal (deepa.rawal@nast.gov.np; rawalshree@hotmail.com)

Dr. Anjana Giri (anjana.giri@nast.gov.np; anajangiri73@gmail.com )

 

 

  • Ex situ conservation via seed banking and utilization of Seed Phenological Modeling Tool for the Prediction of Plant Response to Climate Change

Ex situ conservation via seed banking for collection and conservation of wild plant biodiversity of Nepal and its extension research activity. Seeds of wild plant species are collected from different forest types of Nepal. Collected seeds thus are curated and conserved under -20°C in the seed bank of NAST for research, reintroduction and for forest rehabilitation in the future. This program also aims to study seed physiology and phenological traits and utilize phenological model tool for the prediction of future plant regeneration and abundance in light of the projected climate change. This program aids in future forest management and climate change adaptation issues.
 

  • Utilization of Seed PhenologicalModeling Tool for the Prediction of Plant Response to Climate Change.

This program aims to study seed physiology and phenologicaltraits and utilizephenological model a mechanistic modeling tool for the prediction of future plant regeneration and abundance in light of the projected climate change. This program aids in future forest management and climate change adaptation issues.

Team Members

Dr. Deepa Shree Rawal (deepa.rawal@nast.gov.np; rawalshree@hotmail.com)

  • Carbon measurements and carbon cycle research

Ecosystem-atmosphere carbon exchange in terrestrial ecosystem includes measurements of soil carbon dioxide emissions, micrometeorological data, and plant growth and production, ecosystem management, land use change, impact of warming and climate change on plant and ecosystem function.

Team Member

Dr. Deepa Dhital (dhital.deepa @ nast.gov.np; dhital.deepa@gmail.com)

 

Supportive staff members

  1. Mr. Mahesh Adhikary

 

Instrumentation Facilities

Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS)