Pushpendra Rana

Rana Original

Post-Doctoral Research Scholar
Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences
W-425 Turner Hall
1102 S. Goodwin
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 979 6261


  • Ph.D. Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2014
  • M.S. Soil Sciences, CSK Himachal Pradesh Ag. U., Palampur, India, 1999
  • B.S. Agriculture, CSK Himachal Pradesh Ag. U., Palampur, India, 1997


  • Post-Doctoral Research Scholar (NCSU, UNC- Carolina Population Center, 2014-2015)
  • Indian Forest Service, HP Forest Department (1999-2010, 2015-2016)
  • Post-graduate Diploma in Forestry and allied disciplines (1999-2002)

My research and teaching focus on evaluating and predicting the social and ecological impacts of environmental policies under diverse socio-political and biophysical settings in order to better inform decision makers. I have also experience in using advanced spatial analytical techniques, machine learning and causal inference based statistical approaches to explore research objectives in the field of environmental and forest governance in human-dominated landscapes. Prior to joining Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, I worked as a district forest officer in Indian Himalayas for 9 years and as Project Director, Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystems Climate Proofing Project (KfW-funded) for about 2 years.




  • Environmental science and policy
  • Prediction in conservation and natural resource management
  • Causal inference and impact evaluation methods
  • Forestry, wildlife and economics of smallholder farms
  • Geography, Remote Sensing and GIS

Miller, D.C., Wahlén, C.B., and Rana, P. 2017. A Crystal Ball for Forests? Analyzing the Social-Ecological Impacts of Forest Conservation and Management over the Long Term. Environment and Society, 8(1), 40-62 (https://www.berghahnjournals.com/view/journals/environment-and-society/8/1/ares080103.xml?pdfVersion=true )
Jagger, P. and Rana, P., 2017. Using publicly available social and spatial data to evaluate progress on REDD+ social safeguards in Indonesia. Environmental Science & Policy76, pp.59-69. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S146290111630942X )
Rana, P. and Chhatre, A., 2017. Beyond committees: Hybrid forest governance for equity and sustainability. Forest Policy and Economics78, pp.40-50. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1389934116302027 )
Rana, P. and Chhatre, A., 2016. Rules and Exceptions: Regulatory Challenges to Private Tree Felling in Northern India. World Development77, pp.143-153. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X1500203X )

Rana, P. and Sills, E. 2017. Does Certification Change the Trajectory of Tree Cover in Working Forests in the Tropics? An Application of the Synthetic Control Method of Impact Evaluation (CEnREP Working Paper No. 17-018). Raleigh, NC: Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.23121.22887
Rana, P. Clear property rights, competitive markets and forest-based livelihoods: Evidence from northern India (Under review).
Miller, D.C., and Rana, P. Predictive Proxy Indicators to Assess the Long-Term Impacts of Forest Conservation and Management and Natural Resource Management Financing.
Rana, P., Miller, D.C., Hsieh, Hsin-Chieh, and Lee, K. Predictive Proxy Indicators in Forest Plantations: Empirical Validation through Machine Learning.
Miller, D.C., Ordonez, P.J., Baylis, K., Hughes, K., and Rana, P. Mapping the Evidence on the Socio-economic and Environmental Impacts of Agroforestry in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.
Fleischman, F., Schmitz, M., Coleman, E., Fischer, H., Krithivasan, R., Rana, P., and Solorzano, C.R., The impact of tree plantations on rural livelihoods: A systematic review.