This partnership bolstered the academic quality of Tribhuvan University’s Institute of Forestry (IOF) by establishing a Memorial Center of Excellence to commemorate the conservation leaders who died in a helicopter accident in Nepal in 2006. The Center is building IOF’s teaching, research, and outreach capacity in natural resource management, and promote participation from all sectors of Nepali society in conservation efforts, especially women and minority populations.

In addition to establishing the Center, the partnership has created student-run mentoring centers at both the Pokhara (main) and Hetauda campuses; delivered multiple training workshops for IOF faculty, students, and administrators; and established an active advisory board for the Center.

The partners have formed five research teams. Each contains one faculty member and one student from Pokhara, one faculty member and one student from Hetauda, and one U.S. faculty member. They have also disseminated publications on social inclusion, with a focus on gender issues.

This successful partnership received an additional 18-month scale-up award. Achievements during scale-up phase included establishing a Media Center at the main campus; creating a language and GIS (geographic information system) lab at the Hetauda campus; filming a promotional video for IOF; developing an academic program in ecotourism/adventure tourism; and producing demo videos on teaching and research. The scale-up adds $200,000 to the original $400,000 grant, and contributes $30,768 in cost share funding.

Related Links

World Wildlife Fund Helicopter Crash Statement (2006)

At a Glance

Partner Institutions:

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Tribhuvan University




Sep 2007–Sep 2012

Funding Level:


Cost Share:


Partnership Website: