PhD graduates, Christine Miller Hesed and Katherine J. Johnson, successfully defended their dissertations in May and were hooded by Michael Paolisso, their advisor, at the Spring 2016 Commencement Ceremony. Both Christine and Jo’s dissertation research centered around resilience and climate change in the Chesapeake Bay Region.
Christine's dissertation, Integrating Environmental Justice and Social-Ecological Resilience for Successful Adaptation to Climate Change: Lessons from African American Communities on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, concerns the empirical and conceptual relationship between environmental justice and social-ecological resilience as it relates to climate change adaptation and vulnerability. Christine found that political isolation and procedural injustice greatly increase the vulnerability of flood-prone African American communities on the Eastern Shore; however, if these communities are engaged in adaptation decision-making processes, they may be able to help policymakers envision a future for the Eastern Shore that is both more just and more resilient.
Jo's dissertation research, Resilience to Climate Change: An Ethnographic Approach, leverages engaged and multisited ethnography to enhance our understanding of vulnerability and resilience to climate change through focus on local and cross system perspectives of vulnerability and resilience in the Deal Island Peninsula area of the Chesapeake region.