Suraj Upadhaya, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sustainable Systems
Academic Affairs
School of Agriculture, Communities and the Environment

Hunter Hall
Suite 129
400 East Main Street
Frankfort, KY 40601


Phone: (502) 597-6146

Suraj Upadhaya Headshot


Dr. Suraj joined the School of Agriculture, Communities, and the Environment at Kentucky State University (KYSU) in August 2023 as an Assistant Professor of Sustainable Systems. At KYSU, Dr. Suraj conducts research and teaches in the areas of socio-ecological sustainable systems and the human dimensions of natural resource management. Prior to joining KYSU, Dr. Suraj completed his postdoctoral training at Iowa State University. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the Institute of Forestry, Tribhuvan University, Nepal, a Master of Science in Forestry from the University of Kentucky, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in Integrative Conservation of Nature and Forestry. His doctoral and postdoctoral research have equipped him to integrate theories from social and natural sciences, employing intensive fieldwork alongside complex modeling approaches to produce comprehensive research on environmental sustainability.

Dr. Suraj’s academic and professional goals are: (1) to work on the interface of social and natural sciences to explore the dynamic relationship between natural resources and people; (2) to ensure the sustainability of natural resources in developed and developing countries; and (3) to channelize his research to benefit society and nature. He believes that emerging challenges associated with environmental changes on multiple scales transcend disciplinary boundaries, demanding interdisciplinary approaches to enhance our comprehension of social-ecological dimensions. His expertise lies in sustainable natural resource management, ecosystem services, natural resource management and policy, land-use change modeling, water resource conservation, and management, and social-ecological systems (SES), all coupled with experience in human dimensions and the sustainability of natural resources. For his future research, he would like to continue examining the human dimension of natural resources but do so through interdisciplinary lenses. He aims to understand the dynamic relationship between society and natural resources and achieve sustainability.

Dr. Suraj’s scholarly work has been published in top-tier journals, including Land Use Policy, Agricultural Systems, Climatic Change, Human Ecology, and Environmental Management.

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