Current Research Activities
My work focuses on climate change impacts and solutions. Some of the questions that inform my current research are: Who is most vulnerable to climate change impacts? Who pays the price of climate change solutions, and who benefits from them? How can we help foster and promote resilience within a community? What are desirable and just ways to 'do' sustainable development that do not reproduce the same injustices as conventional development strategies? I am currently working on a new research project in Northeast India to examine the impacts of the National Register of Citizens on the vulnerability of flood-affected communities in Assam. This project is part of my broader research agenda to examine the interaction between climate change, floods, development efforts and state policies on the region of Northeast India and its people. Additionally, I am working with the City of Santa Cruz on their Resilient Coast Santa Cruz Initiative ( http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/government/city-departments/city-manager/climate-action-program/west-cliff-drive-adaptation-and-management-plan), a collaborative project to develop a coastal management plan, in light of climate change impacts. I have been working on the outreach component in the initiative, and conducting household interviews with residents in the Beach Flats and lower Ocean neighborhoods of Santa Cruz to learn about their experience with tidal and riverine floods, and ask them about desirable solutions to keep their neighborhoods resilient to future sea level rise. The data from these interviews will be compiled into a policy brief that the City of Santa Cruz can use to make management recommendations
Research Connections to Current Events
Climate change and sustainable development are some of the more pressing issues of today, and my work helps illustrate who the winners and losers are when it comes to climate change impacts and solutions.
Personal Connections to Research
When I first began my PhD in 2009, the 'climategate' scandal exploded, and this led to people focusing lots of attention to the Himalayan region, its glaciers, and its rivers. That is what sparked my interest in doing research in Northeast India. When I first visited Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and started talking with local residents, I realized dams were just as big of an issue for them as climate change. This led me to pursue work on dams and climate change in Northeast India, and this remains a large focus of my research today.
climate change, environmental justice, human adaptation, resilience, sustainable development, political ecology, Himalayas, Brahmaputra River, dams, India