2014 CLIMAS Climate & Society Graduate Fellows
Assistant Staff Scientist, Climate Assessment for the Southwest
Gigi joined the CLIMAS staff in July 2008. As a qualitative social scientist with training in geography and political ecology, her research interests center on interactions between humans and environments. Her current research involves understanding if and how adaptation strategies help people address local impacts of climate change. One project investigates how people who work in the regional food system of Southern Arizona are responding to sudden social, economic, and policy changes introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gigi earned her doctorate in the School of Geography, Development, & Environment at the University of Arizona. Her dissertation research focused on effective adaptation initiatives around the world and evaluating socially-engaged research theories and practices within the CLIMAS program. She continues to run the CLIMAS program evaluation to measure its contributions to building adaptive capacity and resilience in the Southwest. Gigi also directs and manages the CLIMAS-sponsored Environment & Society Fellowship Program.
Gigi has worked on a variety of air, land, and water quality issues across the Arizona-Sonora border region, beginning in 2002 when she moved to Hermosillo, Sonora to study the ecology of desert grasslands and the impacts of buffelgrass. As a CLIMAS graduate student researcher, she worked with Margaret Wilder, investigating public values toward cultural and natural resources in the Lower Colorado River Delta region. Gigi then helped coordinate several community-based, participatory projects in Ambos Nogales, Sonora and Arizona, connected to air quality and alternative environmental technologies with the University of Arizona's Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA).
The Climate & Society Graduate Fellows Program supports University of Arizona graduate students whose work connects climate research and decision making. Fellows receive $5,000 and guidance from members of the CLIMAS research team (Climate Assessment for the Southwest) for one year. The program’s main objective is to train a group of students to cross the traditional boundaries of academic research into use-inspired science and applied research. While CLIMAS research generally occurs in the Southwest U.S., the Fellows program allows students to work anywhere in the world.
Fellows’ projects may follow two tracks. Students who want to conduct collaborative research may use their funding for use-inspired projects. Students who have conducted climate research and want to communicate their findings to audiences outside of academia may use their funding for outreach. Fellows may also use their funding for a combination of the two tracks.
The Climate & Society Graduate Fellows Program helps students address the world’s climate-related problems by funding projects that engage people outside of the university.
This week we'll be publishing profiles of each of the 2014 Fellows: