Climate science, Paleoclimate and Natural Hazards

    I am a (paleo)climate scientist by training. I have recently (July 2022) joined CoreLogic as a climate change scientist. With this new position, I am very excited in learning and growing in the field of hazard risk assessment. I look forward to applying my climate expertise to help better assess risks from natural hazards in the context of climate change.


    My masters, doctoral research and postdoctoral trainings were focused on understanding long-term changes in climate, forest growth, and atmospheric circulation. In my postdoctoral research, I used climate model simulations to examine the forced trend in the latitudinal position of the subtropical jet over the Himalayas (Himalayan jet) over the past millennium. I also investigated the interannual variability of the Himalayan jet in response to internal (ENSO) and external (volcanic eruptions) forcings. In my doctorate research, I used information preserved in the growth layers of trees (the science of dendrochronology) to examine impacts of climate and human use practices on forest health. I also used tree rings to produce multi-century records of jet stream position, temperature, hydroclimate and drought. My research were motivated to provide multi-century context to the recent changes and examine natural variability in the climate system, which helps better predict future changes and inform resource management decisions in the face of human-caused global warming.


    I was born in the middle mountains of Nepal. I grew up in a village near a small town called Bhairahawa (22 Km east from Lumbini, the birth place of Gautam Buddha) located in the lowlands of central Nepal. After completing my high school, I moved to Kathmandu where I completed my B. Sc. (2009) and M. Sc. (2013) degrees in Environmental Science from the Tribhuvan University affiliate colleges. In 2014, I joined the University of Minnesota in United States for my doctorate degree in Geography, which I earned in summer 2020. During July 2020-July 2022, I was a NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California Santa Barbra. Now, I look forward to exploring hazards in private sector.


    Away from the office, I enjoy spending time with my two kids (4 and 1 yo), playing sports (cricket, soccer, volleyball, bowling), hiking, watching movies and reading books.



    CoreLogic - Oakland, California

    Sr. Professional, Science and Analytics-Climate Change Scientist, July 2022-present

    University of California Santa Barbara and The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) - Santa Barbara, California

    NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow, July 2020-July 2022

    University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Graduate fellow / research and teaching assistant / instructor, August 2014-July 2020

    Resources Himalaya Foundation - Kathmandu, Nepal

    Research Associate, April 2014-December 2014

    Department of Forest Research and Survey, Government of Nepal - Kathmandu, Nepal

    Research Intern, October 2013- January 2014

    GoldenGate International College - Kathmandu, Nepal

    Teaching faculty, October 2013- August 2014

    Rapti Renewable Energy Pvt. Ltd. - Kathmandu, Nepal

    Energy and Environment Officer, August 2012-May 2013


    University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Ph.D. in Physical Geography, 2020

    Paleoclimate and dendrochronology, atmospheric circulation, forest-climate human interactions

    GoldenGate International College, Tribhuvan University -Kathmandu, Nepal

    M.Sc. in Environmental Science, 2013

    Paleoclimate and dendrochronology

    College of Applied Sciences, Tribhuvan University -Kathmandu, Nepal

    B.Sc. in Environmental Science, 2009


    The complete list of publications is available in my [CV] as well as Google Scholar profile.

    Volcanic and ENSO forcings of the Himalayan subtropical jet

    UK Thapa and S Stevenson (In preparation)

    Megadroughts in the Common Era and the Anthropocene

    BI Cook et al.. Nature Reviews Earths and Environment (2022): [DOI]

    Orbital Forcing Strongly Influences the Poleward Shift of the Spring Himalayan Jet During the Past Millennium

    UK Thapa, S Stevenson and M Midhun. Geophysical Research Letters (2020) [DOI]

    The dendroclimatological potential of Common yew (Taxus baccata L.) from southern Azerbaijan

    Farid Seyfullayev, Scott St. George, Vahid Farzaliyev, Sébastien Guillet, Markus Stoffel, Uday Kunwar Thapa. Tree-Ring Research (2021) [DOI]

    Poleward Excursions by the Himalayan Subtropical Jet Over the Past Four Centuries

    UK Thapa, SSt. George, V Trouet. Geophysical Research Letters (2020) [DOI]

    Tree-ring record of winter temperature from Humla, Karnali, in central Himalaya: a 229 years- long perspective for recent warming trend

    NP Gaire, ZX Fan, SK Shah, UK Thapa & MB Rokaya. Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography​ (2020) [DOI]

    A 307-year SPEI tree-ring reconstruction in western Nepal Himalaya from Tsuga dumosa showing modern drought

    S Bhandari, NP Gaire, SK Shah, JS Speer, D Bhuju, UK Thapa . Tree-Ring Research (2019), 75: 73-85. [DOI]

    Detecting the influence of climate and humans on pine forests across the dry valleys of eastern Nepal’s Koshi River basin

    UK Thapa, SSt George. Forest Ecology and Management (2019), 440: 12-22. [DOI]

    Drought (scPDSI) reconstruction of trans-Himalayan region of central Himalaya using Pinus wallichiana tree-rings

    NP Gaire, YR Dhakal, SK Shah, Z Fan, A Bräuning, UK Thapa, S Bhandari, S Aryal, DR Bhujuj. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (2019), 514: 251-264. [DOI]

    A global multiproxy database for temperature reconstructions of the Common Era

    PAGES2k Consortium, Scientific Data (2017) [DOI]

    Tree growth across the Nepal Himalaya during the last four centuries

    UK Thapa, SSt George, DK Kharal, NP Gaire. Progress in Physical Geography (2017) [DOI].

    Tree-climate relations along an elevational transect in Manang Valley, central Nepal

    DK Kharal, UK Thapa, SSt George, et al. Dendrochronologia (2017), 41: 57-64. [DOI]

    Spring temperature

    Spring temperatures in the far‐western Nepal Himalaya since AD 1640 reconstructed from Picea smithiana tree‐ring widths

    UK Thapa, SK Shah, NP Gaire, DR Bhuju. Climate Dynamics (2015) [DOI]

    Tree ring variability and climate response of Abies spectabilis along an elevation gradient in Mustang, Nepal

    DK Kharal, H Meilby, S Rayamajhi, DR Bhuju, UK Thapa. Banko Janakari (2014), 24(1): 3-13 [PDF]

    Influence of Climate on Radial Growth of Abies pindrow in Western Nepal Himalaya

    UK Thapa, SK Shah, NP Gaire, DR Bhuju, A Bhattacharya, GS Thagunna. Banko Janakari (2013), 23 (2): 14-19 [PDF]


    Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want to learn more about my work.