Social Vulnerability and Adaptation to Environmental Change
Increasingly frequent and severe wildfires, flooding, droughts, and storm events are raising concerns about how society can adapt to environmental change. Key to identifying opportunities for adaptation is the concept of social vulnerability. This course will explore theories and methods for investigating social vulnerability and adaptation from an environmental policy and management perspective. This class will focus on the social dimension of vulnerability to understand how the unprecedented challenge of climate change and other social-political changes are unequally distributed among countries and societies. By bringing different analytical perspectives and real-world case studies on vulnerability and adaptation, this class will help students understand, access, and promote sustainable and positive change in the face of accelerating global environmental changes. Students will learn methods and skills to evaluate exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity and design vulnerability assessments and adaptation plans. The course will entail considerable reading, writing, and participation in class discussions. Class meetings will involve discussions of the topic areas moderated by the instructor and student-led discussions of the readings. Students are expected to participate in class discussions actively and write well-articulated short essays.