Climate change is a threat to ecosystems and human communities across the globe. Some climate change adaptation strategies have the potential to generate additional risks and vulnerabilities (e.g., geoengineering, desalination). However, instead of taking the proverbial political ecology ‘hatchet’ to critique these strategies, this talk focuses on the ‘seeds’ of more equitable adaptations that account for the needs of the human and more-than-human world. Innovative case study examples from the Upper Missouri Headwaters region in southwestern Montana, USA – where climate change is affecting snowpack and altering the quality, quantity and timing of water runoff – will be discussed. Opportunities and challenges for implementing natural water storage, ‘shared sacrifice’ agreements, and drought plans that account for ecological and human impacts will be highlighted.
Bio: Dr. Jamie McEvoy is an assistant professor of Geography at Montana State University. As a human-environment geographer, her expertise is in political ecology, human dimensions of water resources, and climate change vulnerability and adaptation. Her recent research focuses how individuals and communities prepare for both droughts and floods. She has conducted research on perceptions of water quality associated with oil and gas development in eastern Montana, USA, public participation in water planning along the Yellowstone River, the impacts of desalination as a sociotechnical system in northwestern Mexico, and the feminization of agriculture in southwestern Mexico. She is honored to be a speaker at the 2017 Inspiring Women Among Us Conference.