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IGERT A2C2 and Anthropology PhD Student
My study will focus on climate change perceptions in Micronesia. Pacific Island nations are vulnerable to abrupt climate change (ACC) impacts, namely sea-level rise causing crop and freshwater resource inundation, ocean warming and acidification causing coral bleaching and loss of biodiversity, and shifting weather patterns causing more extreme storms and drought. I will concentrate on the human dimension of climate change and how local ideological conceptualizations of climate change alter governmental and international policy development and implementation in response to ACC.
Furthermore I will study traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) in Micronesia with the goal of cultivating adaptation and mitigation policy solutions through a synthesis of local TEK and modern climate science. I will investigate local capacities for adaptation and resilience and how they can be employed alongside contemporary climate change mitigation strategies to create culturally appropriate and effective mitigation approaches. Local environmental knowledge systems are a vast information base that harbor local environmental expertise that includes information about past environmental conditions, reveal subtle yet important changes that have occurred in the ecosystem and elucidate how these changes affect the interaction between human and environmental systems. My studies will illuminate the unique environmental perspective of indigenous people, thus enhancing global climate change knowledge, giving policy makers the ability to improve ACC responses.
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