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'Learning from Indigenous Science' research project

Research Achievements

'Learning from Indigenous Science' research project

IGERT-Affiliated faculty Jay Johnson (Geography), Gene Rankey (Geology), and Johan Feddema (Geography) along with IGERT Trainee Michelle Mary (Geology) and IGERT Associate Lara O'Brien (Geography) received KU Commons funding for a research project titled, "Learning from Indigenous Science: Indigenous Perception and Adaptation to Environmental Change in Kiribati." The project is situated on the atoll nation of Kiribati and explores the breadth of environmental knowledge held by Indigenous inhabitants, I-Kiribati, including their adaptation strategies to past and current climate change impacts. Based on a mix of methods including ethnographic interviews, historical documentation, monitoring of coastal dynamics, and climate modeling, preliminary findings strongly suggest that migration will be the main I-Kiribati adaptation to rising sea levels and the loss of usable water from climate change. Migration is consistent with past adaptation strategies, but will be on a much larger scale.