Graham McDowell

Graham McDowell

Biography

I specialize in understanding vulnerability, adaptation, and transformation in high mountain communities affected by rapidly changing glacio-hydrological dynamics. My work is highly interdisciplinary and is focused on eliciting insights at the intersection of earth systems science, human dimensions of climate change research, and socio-ecological systems analysis. This approach stems from my interest in understanding how responses to climate change can successfully navigate complex interdependencies between: 1. The nature of observed and projected climate-related hydrological changes; 2. The inherently social nature of lived experiences of climate change; and 3. The potentially cascading effects of human adaptation on broader socio-ecological dynamics. I have led projects in the Nepal Himalaya, Peruvian Andes, Rocky Mountains, Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic as well as numerous global-scale assessments of climate change impacts and adaptation in cold regions. I am active in publishing and presenting my scholarly contributions and am committed to the mobilization of scientific knowledge, including through my work as a Contributing Author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I am currently a PhD Candidate and Vanier Scholar at the University of British Columbia, where I am affiliated with the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. I hold an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford and a BA Hons in Geography from McGill University.

Biographie

Je me spécialise dans la compréhension de la vulnérabilité, de l’adaptation et de la transformation dans les communautés de haute montagne touchées par la dynamique glacio-hydrologique en rapide évolution. Mon travail est hautement interdisciplinaire et vise à obtenir des informations à l’intersection de la science des systèmes terrestres, des dimensions humaines de la recherche sur les changements climatiques et de l’analyse des systèmes socio-écologiques. Cette approche découle de mon intérêt à comprendre comment les réponses au changement climatique peuvent gérer avec succès des interdépendances complexes entre: 1. la nature des changements hydrologiques observés et projetés liés au climat; 2. la nature intrinsèquement sociale des expériences vécues de changement climatique; et 3. Les effets potentiellement en cascade de l’adaptation humaine sur des dynamiques socio-écologiques plus larges. J’ai dirigé des projets dans l’Himalaya au Népal, dans les Andes péruviennes, les montagnes Rocheuses, le Groenland et l’Arctique canadien, ainsi que de nombreuses évaluations à l’échelle mondiale des impacts du changement climatique et de l’adaptation dans les régions froides. Je suis actif dans la publication et la présentation de mes contributions académiques et je suis engagé dans la mobilisation des connaissances scientifiques, notamment par le biais de mon travail en tant qu’auteur contributeur auprès du Groupe d’experts intergouvernemental sur l’évolution du climat (GIEC). Je suis actuellement candidate au doctorat et boursière Vanier à l’Université de la Colombie-Britannique, où je suis affiliée à l’Institut des ressources, de l’environnement et du développement durable. Je suis titulaire d’une maîtrise en changement et gestion de l’environnement de l’université d’Oxford et d’un baccalauréat spécialisé en géographie de l’université McGill.

Selected Publications/ Publications sélectionnées

Golam, R., Hock, R., … McDowell, G., et al. (In Preparation) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). High Mountain Areas chapter.

Windfeld, E., Ford, J., Berrang-Ford, L., McDowell, G. (In Review) How do community-level climate change vulnerability assessments treat future vulnerability and integrate diverse datasets? A review of the literature. Environmental Reviews.

McDowell, G., Huggel, C., Frey, H., Wang, F., Cramer, R., Ricciardi, V. (2019) Adaptation action and research in glaciated mountain systems: Are they enough to meet the challenge of climate change? Global Environmental Change. 54: 19-30.

Shaw, S., Rodina, L., … McDowell, G. (2018) Unpacking social-ecological transformations: Conceptual, ethical and methodological insights. The Anthropocene Review. 5(3): 250-265.

McDowell, G. (2018) Book Review – Mountain Ice and Water: Investigations of the Hydrologic Cycle in Alpine Environments. Mountain Research and Development. 38(3):270-271.

Ford, J., Pearce, T., McDowell, G. et al. (2018) Vulnerability and its discontents: The past, present, and future of climate change vulnerability research. Climatic Change. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-018-2304-1

McDowell, G. & Koppes, M. (2017) Robust adaptation research in high mountains: Integrating the scientific, social, and ecological dimensions of glacio-hydrological change. Water 9: 739. (Special Issue – Global Warming Impacts on Mountain Glaciers and Communities).

McDowell, G., Stephenson, E., Ford. J. (2016) Adaptation, Adaptation Science, and the Status of Adaptation in Mountain Regions. In Climate Change Adaptation Strategies: An Upstream-Downstream Lens, eds. Salzmann, N., Huggel, C., Nussbaumer, S., & Ziervogel, G. Springer.

McDowell, G., Ford. J., Jones, J. (2016) 25 years of community-level climate change vulnerability research: Trends, progress, and future directions. Environmental Research Letters. 11: 033001

Ford, J., McDowell, G., Pearce, T. (2015) The adaptation challenge in the Arctic. Nature Climate Change. 5: 1046-1053.

Ford, J., … McDowell, G. et al. (2015) Community-based adaptation research in the Arctic. WIREs Climate Change. doi: 10.1002/wcc376.

McDowell, G., Stephenson, E., Ford. J. (2014) Adaptation to climate change in glaciated mountain regions. Climatic Change 126: 77-91.

Carey, M., McDowell, G., Huggel, C., Jackson, J., Portocarrero, C., Reynolds, J., Vicuna, L. (2014) Integrated Approaches to Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in Dynamic Socio-Cryospheric Systems. In Snow and Ice-Related Hazards, Risks and Disasters, eds. W, Haeberli & C. Whiteman. Elsevier.

Ford, J., McDowell, G. Jones, J. (2014). The state of climate change adaptation in the Arctic. Environmental Research Letters. 9: 104005-104014.

McDowell, G. and Ford, J. (2014). The socio-ecological dimensions of hydrocarbon development in the Disko Bay region of Greenland: Opportunities, risks, and tradeoffs. Applied Geography 46: 98-110.

Ford, J., McDowell, G., Shirley, J., et al. (2013) The dynamic multi-scale nature of climate change vulnerability: An Inuit harvesting example. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 103: 1193-1211.

McDowell, G., Ford, J., Lehner, B., Berrang-Ford, L., Sherpa, A. (2013) Climate-related hydrological change and human vulnerability in remote mountain regions: A case study from Khumbu, Nepal. Regional Environmental Change 13: 299-310.

McDowell, G. (2012). The role of bridging organizations in facilitating socio-ecological transformation: A case study of the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative, MSc Thesis. University of Oxford, Environmental Change Institute, Oxford, UK.

McDowell, G. (2011). The human dimensions of climate change in the Khumbu Region of Nepal: Implications of hydrological modification. BA Honours Thesis. McGill University, Department of Geography, Montréal, QC.

Knight, M. and McDowell, G. (2010). Breaking the Ice: McGill researchers work with Inuit hunters to understand and publicize the social effects of climate change. McGill Daily 99: 14-15.