Date of Completion

2016

Document Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Environmental Program

Type of Thesis

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors, Environmental Studies Electronic Thesis

First Advisor

V. Ernesto Mendez

Second Advisor

Katharine Anderson

Third Advisor

Amy Seidl

Keywords

resilience, climate change, farmer, Massachusetts, Vermont, adaptation

Abstract

Farmers throughout New England are facing the increasingly difficult task of adapting to the effects of climate change, which include warming temperatures, increased precipitation and storms, and new pest and disease challenges. Farmers must adapt their farming practices in order to become more resilient. Resilience is the ability of a system to absorb change while still maintaining basic structure and function. In Vermont, there there has been research done on farmer perception of climate change and practiced adaptations. In Massachusetts, there is very little research on this topic. For this study, interviews were conducted that included questions about the causes and effects of climate change, agricultural adaptations to manage risks posed to farmers (both climate-related and not), and what the future of New England agriculture will look like. The interview data was then compared between the two sites. I found that Vermont farmers appear to be more educated about climate change causes and effects, while Massachusetts farmers maintain optimism and strong community involvement in the face of climate change. Further research in Massachusetts would likely help farmers gain access to more information regarding climate change and effective agricultural adaptations, and further research in Vermont would refine existing information.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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