We, researcher, always asked ourselves about When did science begin? and Where the science begin? I firmly believe that the science came from a mixture of arguably debates and nonsense discussion. There are no such references to empirically prove this statement. Believe me. The conference is the place where we, researcher, can make chitchat on all every scientific idea (i.e., the thing your family never want to discuss with you). In this spring semester, I attended the 2018 American Association of Geographers’ Annual Meeting. I met and communicated many people like me or at least like my research topic.
Thanks to ESPP funding, I did convene the session about Climate Change and Agrarian Adaptation in the Global South, which cannot be a conversation topic in your family dinner. During 100 minutes of the session, we—other presenters, I, and audiences, interactively made an in-depth discussion on this topic. The presenters exhibited various research across Peru, Senegal, Colombia, Nepal, and India. Given the complexity of agrarian adaptation mechanisms, understanding of adaptation strategies in different nations are not comparable. However, through our in-depth discussion, we discussed similarities and differences of adaptive behaviors in response to the different context of socioeconomic and environmental settings. It is an eye-opening moment for me in order to understand the complex system of climate adaptation behaviors. We also spent our extra break time to discuss these divergent trajectories of climate adaptation in Global South and research gaps we need to focus.
Particularly, my presentation “How do farmers adapt to climate change? Using Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) to understand decision-making processes of agrarian farmers in the Indo-Gangetic Plains.”, got fairly good attention to discuss the further avenue to move forward. In my research, my colleague and I discovered that the agrarian adaptation behaviors in Bihar region are fairly based on coping strategies under the profit maximization and are influenced by neighborhoods (i.e., social capital). In particular, our model indicated that the farmers’ behaviors can be explained by social capital (49%) and profit maximization motivation (40%). These two divergent results also linked our study to the discussion of “Hardin’s the tragedy of common vs. Ostrom’s critique” has long been discussed. The audiences and I also discussed several points. While we did not espouse any side of this debate as of right now, this result indicated the remaining challenges and research direction.
In a nutshell, come and enjoy the conference, you will meet people like you. Believe me. You are not the only one who studies your specific research topic. There are many!
Hogeun Park is a doctoral student in Urban and Regional Planning and Environmental Science and Policy. His trip to New Orleans was funded in part by ESPP’s Interdisciplinary Conference Travel Grants. For more information on the grants and how to apply, go to http://espp.msu.edu/education/travelfunds_2018_final.pdf