National Science Foundation Fellow Anna McGinn discuses her research on climate change adaptation projects in developing countries.
I am just starting my research project for my master’s thesis. I’m working with Dr. Cindy Isenhour in the Anthropology Department. We are looking at climate change adaptation programs.
Climate adaptation is basically when climate change impacts are already having an effect on a community or a region that adaptation project is helping that community to somehow deal with those impacts so that they can continue to thrive and survive in that area.
There’s a variety of different ways that the coasts are being impacted by climate change. We’re going to look at how different communities are adapting and look at if those projects are having any other additional impacts, in addition to helping communities adapt to climate change.
Are they helping to also provide more jobs to the region? Are they having maybe negative impacts that weren’t expected, for example, causing a conflict because building a seawall is causing more impact down the coastline to some other communities?
We’re trying to take a holistic approach to how climate change adaptation projects are happening to get an idea of best practices for our projects.
Climate change adaptation is really important because although we are taking steps around the world to mitigate the impacts of climate change, the emissions that have already happened to-date are already causing climate change impacts to occur around the world. Being able to have a dual approach to mitigate climate change but also adapt to climate change is really important.
People’s lives are being changed by the fact the climate is changing and oftentimes it’s in negative ways. Finding ways to reduce the vulnerability of people and help communities be more resilient is really important.