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Climate Change Institute

Samuel Belknap

A2C2 IGERT Graduate Fellow

Samuel Belknap

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234C South Stevens Hall
University of Maine 
Orono, ME  04469


As an anthropologist I am very interested in how the environment and environmental changes affect human behavior and culture. Growing up on the coast of Maine I have always had a strong connection to coastal communities in general and marine resource harvesters in particular. While I have worked extensively at the intersection of human diet, the environment, my current work focuses on how environmental change, particularly rapid or abrupt climate change, influences human behavior and culture. I am currently involved in research into the impacts of abrupt climate change on Maine Lobstermen. I am also currently working on a three state project looking at involving fishermen in the formation of stakeholder driven models that can help them deal with climate changes.

Research interests

I am currently a PhD student in the Adaptation to Abrupt Climate Change NSF IGERT fellowship program pursuing a degree in Anthropology and Environmental Policy. This fellowship is joint endeavor between the University of Maine Climate Change Institute (CCI) and School of Policy and International Affairs (SPIA). My work focuses on how rapid abrupt or non-linear changes to earths climate system impacts resource harvesters. Specifically, how extreme ocean events impact the perceptions and behaviors of marine-resource harvesters. Currently I am examining how extreme temperature events within the Gulf of Maine during 2012 have impacted and potentially undermined many of the successful conservation practices that Maine lobstermen have had in place for the past half-century. I am intimately interested in how stakeholder motivated research can help create sucessful management (regulatory) policies that take into account the needs and vulnerabilities of those being regulated.


  • Tito RY, Knights D, Metcalf J, Obregon-Tito AJ, Cleeland L, et al. (2012) Insights from Characterizing Extinct Human Gut Microbiomes. PLoS ONE 7(12):
    e51146. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051146

    For more information: Download file (PDF)

  • Tito, Raul Y; Belknap, Samuel L; Sobolik, Kristin D; Ingraham, Robert C; Cleeland, Lauren M; Lewis, Cecil M. 2011 .Brief Communication: DNA from early Holocene American Dog. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 145(4). Pp. 653-657.

    For more information: Download file (PDF)


M.S. Quaternary & Climate Studies, University of Maine 2011

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