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Adaptive capacity of agriculture in Arizona's Verde Valley: situated resilience and climate change

Douglass-Gallagher, E. (2017) Adaptive capacity of agriculture in Arizona's Verde Valley: situated resilience and climate change. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Industrial agriculture, constructed and maintained through the human-nature divide, causes enormous environmental and social destruction. Because of its contributions to climate change, there is a dire need to understand and encourage the ability of alternative systems of more sustainable food production to adapt to changing conditions. By viewing agriculture as a social-ecological system (SES), I used a place-based resilience approach to study the adaptive capacity of non-industrial, individual growers in Arizona’s Verde Valley. Using a political ecology lens, in-depth interviews, and grounded theory, I developed an understanding of the characteristics and processes that influence climate change adaptation that emerge from the specific historical, cultural, and environmental conditions of this SES. Through coding and analysis, I found that opportunities and barriers for adaptation were deeply dependent on the processes and contexts of the agricultural system. Key elements of the growers’ adaptive capacities to climate change are climate change awareness and belief, alternative agricultural practices and ideologies, and larger structural barriers. Therefore, to create climate change-resilient agricultural systems, we must not only target individual beliefs and ideologies but also the systemic conditions they are embedded within.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: Social sciences; Biological sciences; Earth sciences; Adaptive capacity; Grounded theory; Individuals; Resilience; Social-ecological systems
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Sustainable Communities
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2017 04:44
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5001

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