A team at UMaine and the University of Vermont has just been awarded a $4 million dollar grant to study climate adaptation in using data science tools. As part of the project, Dr. Waring will lead development of cultural evolution models of rural community adaptation to climate change. The team will explore what social and economic conditions determine how a natural resources-based community adapts to climate-induced change over time, and whether cultural adaptation models coupled with data on species changes can better inform farming practices in the future.
Niles will develop a large-scale spatiotemporal dataset that will focus on and inform farmer adaptation behaviors. The data will include projected range shifts in crops, models of key crop weeds and pathogens, and socioeconomic and demographic information on the rural resource users.
Together, the work of Waring and Niles will be the first to leverage significant ecological and social datasets to study climate adaptation in a spatiotemporal context. PhD positions will emerge soon.