The 89th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2020)


Session 54. Human Responses to Climate Change: What Anthropologists Want Climate Scientists and Policymakers to Know (Joint HBA-Wiley-AAPA Symposium). Invited Podium Symposium. Chair: Anne C. Pisor Co-organizers: James Holland Jones, Stanford University

April 18, 2020 8 a.m. - noon, Diamond 4 Add to calendar

Climate change is having large, and often surprising, effects on a wide range of biological and social systems, and the livelihoods of subsistence populations are no exception. Indeed, relative to other human populations, subsistence populations are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The strategies individuals, communities, and organizations use to cope with climate change are called “adaptations” by the climate-science community; with our methodological tools for understanding of how living and past peoples have changed their behavior in response to environmental change, biological anthropologists are particularly well-positioned to contribute to conversations about adaptation in subsistence populations. However, despite some calls at the Austin meetings for public outreach about climate change, biological anthropologists have remained largely absent from all conversations about contemporary climate change, including those taking place in the climate-science and policy communities. In this symposium, presenters have three goals: first, to outline what biological anthropologists have learned thus far about individual- and population-level responses to climate in Homo sapiens, using the diverse methods we have at our disposal; second, to identify how we can marshal what we have learned through our collaborations with vulnerable communities to further support them, including to inform policy that will support them; and finally, to discuss future directions in the study of climate-change adaptation in biological anthropology, including how we can better engage with larger conversations about adaptation in the academic and policy worlds.

8:00AM Add to calendar High energy apes on a hot planet: the challenge of fueling an increasingly energy hungry hominin. Herman Pontzer.
8:15AM Add to calendar Time Preferences, Risk Preferences, and Climate Change Adaptation. James Holland Jones.
8:30AM Add to calendar Living with Environmental Uncertainty.  Climate Change & Economic Decision Making among Maya Farmers. Karen L. Kramer, Joseph Hackman.
8:45AM Add to calendar Decomposing climate variability to predict risk-management strategies. Anne C. Pisor.
9:00AM Add to calendar Climate change and conflict: patterns, processes, prospects. Mark Collard, Chris Carleton.
9:15AM Add to calendar The behavioral ecology of climate-induced human migration. Mary C. Towner, Alannah Templon.
9:30AM Add to calendar Lessons from the past: 13,000-years of climate change effects on diet, foraging risk, and demography of Great Plains foragers and farmers. Erik R. Otárola-Castillo, Melissa G. Torquato, John B. Rapes, Benjamin Schiery, Matthew E. Hill.
9:45AM Add to calendar Allee effects in nomadic foragers. Rebecca Bird.
10:00AM Break
10:30AM Add to calendar Women’s responses to climate change in rural Namibia: Subsistence, social ties, and reproductive health. Ashley Hazel.
10:45AM Add to calendar The effects of climate change on the ecology and health of indigenous Arctic populations. J. Josh Snodgrass.
11:00AM Add to calendar Climate colonialism and "adaptive capacity" in the Arctic. Elspeth Ready.
11:15AM Add to calendar An Eco-Evolutionary Approach to Human Adaptability, Resilience, and Climate Change in the Arctic. Drew Gerkey.
11:30AM Add to calendar A multi-level cultural evolutionary framework for sustainability. Michelle A. Kline.
11:45AM Discussants: Anne Pisor and James Holland Jones