Understanding landowners’ conservation practice(s) behaviors. Lesson for Agricultural Landscapes.

Agriculture is the Earth’s dominant land use and will continue to be as a global population, and food demand remains steady or increases with human population growth and changing diets. Conversion of other land uses to agriculture, and its intensification, could increase crop production to meet global demand. However, agricultural expansion and intensification efforts need to be combined with widespread implementation of soil, water, and biodiversity conservation measures to maintain long-term ecosystem functioning and reduce environmental impacts and tradeoffs. Understanding factors that motivate conservation behavior among farmers is crucial to addressing societal, soil, water, and wildlife conservation goals. Farmers’ individual social and economic motivations and their farms’ biophysical and economic characteristics influence their behaviors. Understanding what factors affect their behaviors is crucial in promoting adoption of conservation practices.


Suraj Upadhaya, PhD is a social-ecological researcher at the Bioeconomy Insitute, Iowa State University, USA. His research and teaching are in the areas of socio-ecological systems and human dimensions of natural resource management. Currently, he is collaborating with researchers and faculties from different departments through the project "Consortium for Cultivating Human And Naturally reGenerative Enterprises" (C-CHANGE), an ISU Presidential Interdisciplinary Research Initiative.

Suraj understands that emerging challenges associated with environmental change on multiple scales span disciplinary boundaries and necessitate interdisciplinary approaches to better our understanding of social-ecological dimensions. His expertise lies in ecosystem services, natural resource management and policy, land-use change modeling, water resource conservation and management, and social-ecological systems (SES) coupled with experience in human dimensions of natural resources. He received a doctorate in integrative conservation of nature and forestry from the University of Georgia, USA, a master’s in forestry from the University of Kentucky, USA, and a bachelors’ degree from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Email: upadhaya@iastate.edu Web: www.surajupadhaya.com