Dr Hemu Kafle

Dr. Hemu Kharel Kafle is the Founder and Director of Research at Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences (KIAS), Nepal, and a scientist at the Centre for Water and Atmospheric Research (CENWAR) within it.

Dr. Hemu Kharel Kafle holds a masters in extreme climatic condition like drought and desertification from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.

During her PhD in Nagoya University in Japan, she developed the “Topography Considered Two-Source Energy Balance Model” using satellite remote sensing data sets. For her post-doctoral research at Weizmann Institute of Science, (Israel) she studied the drought in afforested forests, mainly focusing on semi-arid climatic conditions.

Felicitated by The World Academy of Science (TWAS) as Young Scientist in 2014, she was one of the first women to receive the Early Career Women Scientist fellowship in 2018.

Currently, she is working on a regional scale, assessing and monitoring the impact of extreme climatic conditions like drought in South Asian nations.

A mother of two, Dr. Kafle is also a founding member and President of the Organization of Women Scientist in Developing World (OWSD) - Nepal Chapter; working to inspire a stronger female future for Nepalese science while empowering the existing generation of women scientists.

Areas of expertise: Women in STEM, climate change, water resources, environment

Selected media coverage

Can COVID_19 Pandemic be beneficial for Nepal’s food security? - Naya Patrika Daily Nepali News Paper (in Nepali language), May 2, 2020
Can COVID-19 be beneficial for Nepal’s food production? - English translation of the article above publised on Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), May 8, 2020



Dr. Hemu Kharel Kafle

Email: [email protected]; [email protected].

Professional Preparation

2009: Doctor of Science (Ph.D) in Environmental Science from Nagoya University, Japan

2005: Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Climatic Studies from Ben-Gurion University of Negev, Israel

1999: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Physics, Mathematics and Statistics from Trichandra      Campus, Tribhuvan University, Nepal.              


2018 Jan.- Present: Director of Research, Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences, Nepal.
2017 Nov._ Present: Scientist, Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences, Nepal
October, 2016 – Oct. 2017: Visiting scientist, Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences, Nepal
May, 2014 – Oct., 2016: Senior scientific officer, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, Nepal
May, 2013 – April, 2014:  Research fellow, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, Nepal
October, 2009 – July, 2011: Post doctoral fellow, Weizmann institute of Science, Israel
1998 - 1999: Trainer, Women Empowerment Program, Pact-Nepal (USAID funded)


Peer reviewed articles:

Kafle, H.K, Jasmita Khadgi and Muhayatun Santoso, Multi Elemental Analysis of Surface Soil in Highly Urbanized Kathmandu Valley. Environmental Science & Technology, Manuscript ID: es-2020-06941d (2020, Submitted).

Kafle, H.K. (2016), Drought Analysis in Western, Central and Eastern Development Regions of Nepal using Reconnaissance Drought Index. Journal of Hydrology Meteorology 10(1): Pp: 20-29.

Kafle, H.K. (2014), Study of Drought in Far and Mid Western region of Nepal: Time Series Analysis 1982-2012. Nepal Journal of Science and Technology, 15(1): Pp: 35-45.

Kafle, H. K. and Yamaguchi, Y. (2009),Effects of topography on the spatial distribution of regional evapotranspiration over a complex terrain using Two-Source Energy Balance model with ASTER data; Hydrological Processes Volume 23, Issue 16, pages 2295–2306, 30 July 2009,  doi 10.1002/hyp.7336

Kafle, H. K. and Bruins, H. J. (2009), Climatic trends in Israel 1970-2002: warmer and increasing aridity inland;Journal of Climatic Change, Vol.96 (2009) pages 63–77 (DOI 10.1007/s10584-009-9578-2

Kafle, H. K. and Yamaguchi, Y. (2008),Surface Heat Fluxes Estimated from the Two-Source Energy Balance Model using ASTER Data in a Heterogeneous area; International journal of Geoinformatics , Vol. 4, No. 4, Pp:1-7.

Reports/Newspaper articles:

Hemu Kharel Kafle (2nd May, 2020), Can COVID_19 Pandemic be beneficial for Nepal’s food security? In Naya Patrika Daily Nepali News Paper. Published in Nepali Language (https://jhannaya.nayapatrikadaily.com/news-details/968/2020-05-02).

Hemu Kafle (April 17th 2016), Challenges of Drought Monitoring in Nepal, in annual magazine of Society of Hydrologist Meteorologist Nepal.

Hemu Kharel Kafle (Sept. 18th 2013), Application of Remote Sensing in Disaster Risk Management of Nepal, in Republica Daily English Newspaper of Nepal.

Hemu Kafle and Ishwor P. Khanal (July, 2014), Drought and Desertification Hazards in Far and Mid Western region of Nepal: Time Series Analysis 1982-2012. Booklet on Environment (Batabaran Pustika), Ministry of Science Technology and Environment, Department of Environment, Pp:93-103.


1)     Principle Investigator, research project: “Assessing the State of Air Quality and Its Impact on Surrounding Environment in Kathmandu, Nepal”, by RCA Regional Office, South Korea, on 25th November 2020. Grant EURO 21000 (for 2021-2023)

2)     Supervisor and authorized representative of grantee, research project: “Influence of transboundary air pollutants into the atmosphere of Kathmandu, Nepal”, by Asia Pacific Network (APN) on 30th October 2020. Grant US$ 28000 (for 2020-2022).

3)     Principle Investigator, research project: “Building low-cost mobile weather station for drought study in Nepal”, by Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), a UNESCO programme, hosted by The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), on 4th February 2019. Grant US$ 49,458 (for 2018-2020).

4)     Principle Investigator, research project: “Improving assessment of drought and mitigating its impact on food and water in South Asia”, by Asia Pacific Network (APN) on 30th August 2018. Grant US$ 80,750 (for 2018-2020).

5)     Principle Investigator, research project: “Assessing the state of air quality and its impact on surrounding environment in Kathmandu, Nepal”, by RCA Regional Office, South Korea, on 16th November 2017. Grant EURO 21000 (2018-2020).

6)     Young Scientist Award from The World Academy of Science and Technology (TWAS) on 6th December, 2014, awarded by honorable prime minister of Nepal Mr. Sushil Koirala.

7)     Rewarded with prestigious award “Nepal Bidhya Bhusan Ka” on September 6, 2012 by honorable president Dr. Ram Baran Yadav.

8)     Awarded with prestigious scholarship “SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL” from April, 2008 to March, 2009 

9)     COE-DC research assistant fellow in Sun-Earth-Life-Interactive – System (SELIS): The 21st Century COE program from April 2006 – March 2009.

10) Full scholarship awarded by Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies, (Source of the Scholarship: Bonna Terra Foundation) from October 2002 - 2004

Invited Presentations

6th August 2018; Invited Speaker, Opportunities and Challenges in Securing Research Funding in Developing Countries, Grant Writing Workshop for Early Career Researchers and Faculty, USEF-Nepal (Fulbright Commission), Kathmandu, Nepal

11th August 2017: Invited Speaker, Basics of Climate Change Science in Nepal, University Teaching of Climate Change: Faculty Interaction and Workshop, Trade Tower, Thapathali, Kathmandu, Nepal

20th March 2017: Invited Speaker, Introduction to Satellite Remote Sensing, Meteorological Education Ceremony, Student Organization of Meteorology (SOM), Trichandra Campus, Kathmandu, Nepal

30th March 2015: Lead Presenter, Vulnerabilities of Drought Hazard in Nepal, First Graduate Conference on Environmental and Sustainable development, NTNC/NAST hall, Khumaltar, Kathmandu, Nepal.

26-27 December 2014: Invited Speaker: Importance of Remote Sensing in Environmental Studies of Nepal; on Global Workshop on recent research techniques, Mahendra Morang Adarsha multiple campus, Biratnagar.

Synergistic Activities

Executive member of the Society of Hydrology and Meteorology, 2014-2016

Member-International Association of Hydrological Sciences

Member- Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD)

Host and organizer a Workshop of 2013 on the Title: Meteorology and Metrology

Co-chaired two sessions in the Seventh National Conference on Science and Technology, March 29-31,2016, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Chaired a scientific session in First and Second International Conference, “Mountains in the Changing World (MoChWo)”, 1-2 October 2016 and 27-28 October 2017.Kathmandu, Nepal.

Chaired a scientific session, Climate Change and Water Resource management, on Graduate Conference on Water, held on 21st March 2019.

Panelist, Women and Girls in Science; Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, February, 2019

Panelist, Women Scientist in STEM, Martin Chautari, March, 2019

Panelist, Women and Girls Education in Nepal, OWSN, Virtual meeting, August, 2020

Session Chair, Women in Water; Small Earth Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal, March, 2018

Convener, Fifth International Conference, “Mountains in the Changing World (MoChWo)”, 8-9 October 2020 (Online on ZOOM Platform).

Founding President, “Organization of Women Scientist in Nepal”, 2019- Present

Founder and Vice-President, Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences.

Guest and Judge, “NASA App Challenge 2020”, October 2020, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Moderator, Drought session, KDKH, ICIMOD, Virtual meeting; 2020/12/16

Panelist, Drought Session, KDKH, ICIMOD, Virtual meeting; 2020/12/16


Center for Water and Atmospheric Research
Other affiliation
Founding President
Academic discipline: