Research Colloquium

Fall 2016
IAS Research Colloquium

Community-based efforts for climate change

Recent research shows that climate change will be more pronounced in high-elevation mountain sites, with consequences that may be felt much sooner and directly affect millions of people. Effective solutions require the recognition that people conceptualize and perceive environmental changes differently, and the support of a range of regional-to-local and interdisciplinary efforts that allow a dialog between the biophysical and social sciences. Interdisciplinary climate change research, however, is often inhibited by the disciplinary structure of knowledge and epistemological differences between knowledge systems.

The Fall 2016 IAS Research Colloquium on Community-based efforts for climate change addresses these differences, drawing on recent group research by presenters in the Peruvian Andes.

A hybrid-epistemological approach to climate change research: Linking climate science and local perceptions in the Ecuadorian Andes
Santiago Lopez and Jin-Kyu Jung, IAS

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
4:00-5:30 pm
UW1-280 (Rose Room)

Discussant: Shannon Cram, IAS

In this study, Santiago Lopez and Jin-Kyu Jung follow a climate science approach to characterize climate trends between 1965-2013 at the subregional and local levels in Ecuadorian Andes. They contextualize the quantitative findings with qualitative data from three communities on smallholders’ perceptions of climate change. From a climate science perspective, their study shows important tendencies towards increased temperatures in the region. This finding is supported by local perceptions of  a warmer atmosphere. In relation to annual precipitation, Lopez and Jung find no significant decreasing or increasing trends, but a slight absolute increase and decrease along the inter-Andean valleys and towards the Amazon basin respectively. Yet local perceptions of decreased precipitation in the central inter-Andean valleys and increased precipitation along the eastern flanks contradict the scientific evidence. It is crucial for researchers to be attuned with the ways that scientific and experiential knowledges co-evolve through their interactions. Lopez and Jung present this as a response to the new call for a comprehensive understanding of climate change that requires an epistemological re-framing of climate change research.

Do payments matter? The impact of Payments for Environmental Services on Communal Lands
Felipe Murtinho, Seattle University

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
4:00-5:30 pm
UW1-280 (Rose Room)

Discussant: Martha Groom, IAS

Payments for Environmental Services (PES) programs are quickly becoming the policy tool of choice to promote carbon sequestration, watershed protection and biodiversity conservation in developing countries.  We have relatively little understanding, however, of how the PES model influences individual land-use behavior.  This is particularly true in the context of collective resource management where PES interacts with communal characteristics, specifically governance activities which may also influence individual land-use decisions. In this presentation, Felipe Murtinho reports on how a national PES program in Ecuador influences household land-use decisions in the context of collective resource management. The analysis takes advantage of the spatial roll-out of the Ecuadorian program to compare households and communities  currently participating to those that plan to participate in the future. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, Murtinho discusses the factors that influence the decision to participate, how program participation influences the governance of communal lands, the impact of participation on behavioral change, and the factors that influence the degree to which households believe that the distribution of costs and benefits from participation is fair.

The IAS Research Colloquium provides a forum for graduate students, faculty, and external partners to learn about interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research practices, and to think critically and creatively about the implications of different forms of research design. 

All sessions are open to the campus-community and general public: No RSVP required. 

A two-credit course option (BCULST/BPOLST 598B) is available to graduate students: contact S.Charusheela ( to enroll.

The University of Washington is committed to providing equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To inquire about disability accommodations, please contact Rosa Lundborg at Disability Support Services at least ten days prior to the event at 425.352.5307, TDD 425.352.5303, FAX 425.352.5455, or email


Background readings are available via the campus e-reserve system under “IAS Research Colloquium.” If you would like access to these readings and do not have a UW NetID, please contact Bruce Burgett at

Past Colloquia

Learn about past colloquium presentations.

Subject areas included: education policy, sex trafficking, rethinking Marxism, environmental justice, arts-based research, qualitative geovisualization, religion and HIV risk, conserving biodiversity, human rights, and media activism.