Human Vulnerability and Climate Change Adaptation

2 credits / 6 weeks weeks
15 Apr 2019 - 24 May 2019

Professor Olivia Sylvester

To achieve sustainable peace we need urgent action to adapt with climate change and its impacts. In this course students learn how to speak climate change language through their examination of key theories and concepts (e.g., vulnerability, adaptation, resilience, and transformation). Students will use this new knowledge to analyze climate change issues including: food security, natural resource use, seal-level rise, and climate-related displacement. Students will also learn how to approach climate change and its impacts through human rights and gender lenses. Responding to the action paralysis in the climate adaptation arena, our class will focus on solutions to key climate challenges through the examination of exemplary real world case studies at the fore of climate adaptation. If you are interested in understanding the key concepts and theories that inform current climate policy, research, and adaptive actions; and, if you are interested in understanding the how climate adaptation relates to gender equality, sustainable, peaceful and inclusive communities, clean energy, and zero hunger among other sustainable development goals, this course is for you.




Olivia Sylvester

Olivia Sylvester, Ph.D., researches sustainable agriculture, food security, climate change, and environmental justice a feminist political ecology perspective. For more than a decade, she has worked in Costa Rica with Indigenous people, women, small-scale farmers, and youth on these topics. Her research is driven by social justice goals and she uses alternative methodologies (e.g., Indigenous, feminist). She has taught in higher education for over a decade in Canada, the United States, and in Costa Rica. Olivia is also an adjunct faculty at Long Island University (USA) and a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the International Society of Ethnobiology, and the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Project. Being active within these networks allows her to work at the interface of policy and practice.


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