October 2012 Meeting

  • 02 Oct 2012
  • Sumner School

Anthropological Approaches to Climate Change

Date:  Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Meeting, 7:00 pm, Sumner School, Rotating Gallery G-4

Pre-meeting get-together, 5:30 pm Beacon Bar and Grill

For our October 2 meeting, WAPA is delighted to present two distinguished speakers on a fascinating “hot” (in more ways than one) topic: anthropology’s contributions to the issue of climate change.

The topic of Shirley Fiske’s talk will be “Why Climate Matters:  Perspectives from Anthropology.” She will discuss the importance of keeping climate change on the political agenda as we approach the elections in November, why anthropologists and the public should care, and what anthropology can contribute to the climate dialogue. She will weave in the work of the AAA’s Global Climate change Task Force.

Dr. Fiske chairs AAA’s Global Climate Change Task Force. She is an environmental and policy anthropologist and a leading light of WAPA.  Shirley is a past-president of both of WAPA and NAPA, and one of the two founders of WAPA’s Praxis Award.  She is currently a Research Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Maryland. To hear more about her important work on climate change, join us on October 2.

The topic of L. Jen Shaffer’s talk will be “Participatory Climate Research: Bridging Knowledge to Increase Adaptive Capacity."  Policy makers, government agencies, and NGOs rely on global and regional models to provide projections of potential future climate change.  However, these large-scale models cannot capture local spatial-temporal variability and the complexity of interactions between different elements of the local socio-ecological system.  Additionally, local people need more fine-tuned climate information for livelihood decision-making.  Dr. Shaffer’s talk will present results from her work with rural Tanzanians and Mozambicans to bridge different types of climate and environmental knowledge.  While research teams shared what they knew about climate science and climate projections, local residents shared their knowledge of the local socio-ecological system.  These opportunities provided everyone involved space to discuss past adaptations and future responses to climate uncertainty.

Dr. Shaffer
is an ecological and environmental anthropologist and an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at University of Maryland.  Her dissertation research investigated livelihood and landscape ecology interactions in southern Mozambique. She has also conducted research in Tanzania, where she collaborated with residents of four rural Tanzanian communities to develop a community-based environmental monitoring program and participatory climate research activities.  To hear more about this compelling research, join us on October 2.

Meeting:  Charles Sumner School, corner of 17th St and M St NW, Washington, DC

How to get there:  The Sumner School is located at 1201 17th St NW (corner of 17th St and M St NW).  The entrance to the meeting area is on 17th St under the black metal stairway. Directions from Metro Red Line: From Farragut North station, take either L St exit, walk one block east to 17th St, turn left and walk 2 blocks north.  Enter the building through the double doors under the black metal staircase.  MEETING ROOM:  Rotating Gallery G-4 (ground floor)

Pre-meeting:  Beacon Bar & Grill (one block north of Sumner School)

How to get there:  The Beacon Bar & Grill is in the Beacon Hotel located at 1615 Rhode Island Ave NW (corner of Rhode Island and 17th St).  Directions from Metro Red Line Farragut North station: take either L St exit, walk one block east to 17th St, turn left and walk 3 blocks north (one block past Sumner School).  All are welcome.

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