Research projects

Interdisciplinary science and development integration for adaptation to water scarcity in the Comahue region, Argentina (CRN 3102)

PI: Ana María Murgida We will examine the design and progress of a successful interdisciplinary science and development project (by IDRC and Fundación Bariloche), document how the challenges of interdisciplinary and intersectoral work are met, and how progress is shaped…

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Interdisciplinary science team skill building through the study of socio-ecological impacts from bioenergy development across the Americas (CRN 3105)

PI: Kathleen E. Halvorsen This project tests hypotheses with regard to the effectiveness of interdisciplinary (ID) science teamwork skill building strategies in changing scientists’ beliefs…

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Transferring climate knowledge at the science-policy interface for adaptation to drought in Uruguay (CRN 3106)

PI: Gabriela Cruz In Uruguay, there is a high degree of institutionalization of the climate change issues at the political level through a network of government institutions. The academia generates climate change scientific knowledge. These assets make Uruguay an excellent case study for interdisciplinary science-policy interaction…

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Interdisciplinary research to improve information provision for decision making (CRN 3107)

PI: Jacob van Etten This project will develop an interdisciplinary methodology that will make it possible to design a platform that empowers decision-makers at multiple levels…

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Coping with hydrological risk in megacities: Collaborative planning framework for the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (CRN 3108)

PI: Luis A. Bojórquez Tapia The Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) faces a self-reinforcing problem with flood risk −including public health issues associated with contaminated water− and vulnerability to water scarcity. A multi-actor and multi-scalar decision process is instrumental…

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Nitrogen cycling in Latin America: drivers, impacts and vulnerabilities (CRN 3005)

PI: Jean Pierre H.B. Ometto Nitrogen is a key element for life on Earth, related to ecosystem functioning and many human activities, and thus under strong pressure…

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Tropi-Dry: Enhancing knowledge exchange for conservation and management of tropical dry forests in the Americas (CRN 3025)

PI: Arturo Sánchez-Azofeifa Tropical Dry Forests are considered one of the most threatened forest ecosystems in the world as a consequence of intensive anthropogenic disturbance. Their fertile soils and mild climates make them highly suitable for conversion to agriculture and livestock…

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Towards usable climate science: Informing decisions and provision of climate services to the agriculture and water sectors of southeastern South America (CRN 3035)

Climate variability and change affect a variety of societal sectors, regions and issues − including sustainable development, poverty mitigation and food security. Decision makers at many levels–households, communities, regions and countries– will need usable information…

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LUCIA: Land use, climate and infections in Western Amazonia (CRN 3036)

PI: Alisson F. Barbieri Land use and land cover changes, and a changing climate have important impacts on the natural environment and the human population of the Amazon. Forest conversion in Amazonia influences the dynamics of endemic infectious diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and leishmaniasis…

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SAFER: Sensing the Americas’ freshwater ecosystem risk from climate change (CRN 3038)

PI: Gerardo M. E. Perillo Climate variability imposes a range of regional hydro-meteorological changes on water fluxes and storages throughout a watershed and, therefore, on freshwater ecosystems and the services they provide to humanity…

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Innovative science and influential policy dialogues for water security in the arid Americas (CRN 3056)

PI: Christopher Scott With an emphasis on water security, this network of researchers and policymakers will address multiple uncertainties in hydroclimatic and land-cover variability, water-resource use, and institutional change…

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VOCES: Variability of ocean ecosystems around South America (CRN 3070)

PI: Alberto R. Piola Coastal marine ecosystems contribute more than 40% of the total global carbon sequestration and more than 80% of the global fish catch. There is increasing evidence that…

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RAICES: Effects of anthropogenic habitat perturbation on rodent population dynamics and risk of rodent-borne diseases (CRN 3076)

PI: Daniel Bausch The global population explosion and need for natural resources is resulting in widespread human intrusion into previously uninhabited environments. This perturbation affects biodiversity…

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Assessment of marine ecosystem services at the Latin-American Antares time-series network (CRN 3094)

PI: Milton Kampel Marine ecosystem services (ES) such as fisheries’ support and carbon sequestration undeniably contribute to human well-being and they are being affected by changes in the climate system…

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BEST-P: Bridging ecosystem services and territorial planning, a southern South American initiative (CRN 3095)

PI: José M. Paruelo Territorial planning of land use is an urgent need in southern South America. The area cultivated with soybean, and Eucalyptus and Pinus, is expanding at increasing rates…

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Intensive training program in management of social-ecological systems to support decision-making (CRN 3097)

PI: Patricia Balvanera Future interdisciplinary collaboration across the Americas to support decision-making is needed and can be fostered through capacity building. We will offer a theoretical and practical intensive course…

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Advancing good practices in building interdisciplinarity: moving towards user-oriented science (CRN 3101)

PIs: Marcelo Saguier and Andrea K. Gerlak To address global change, interdisciplinary research must link scientific knowledge to policy applications and be focused on user and result-oriented problem solving. New insights and practical guidance…

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Towards an integrated assessment of water security under global change in the Americas (SGP-CRA 005)

PIs: Christopher Scott and Francisco Meza Emerging global consensus prioritizes the concept of water security, defined as the sustainable availability of adequate quantities and qualities of water…

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DIVERSUS: Links between functional diversity, ecosystems and social dynamics: a wrap-up of concepts, methods and baseline information (SGP-CRA 2015)

PI: Sandra M. Díaz After five years of our previous project, we have successfully built a network of scientists capable of dealing with the links between biodiversity, ecosystem processes and ecosystem services in the Americas…

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From farm-level management to governance of landscapes: Climate, water and land use decisions in the plains of Southern South America (SGP-CRA 2031)

PIs: Esteban Jobbágy and Federico Bert Groundwater is a major link between climate and food/energy production. In flat plains groundwater is…

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Documenting, understanding and projecting changes in the hydrological cycle in the American cordillera (SGP-CRA 2047)

PI: Brian Luckman Fresh water is an increasingly scarce resource in the warmer, more crowded world resulting from ongoing global changes. Mountain regions are the source of much of the water that sustains adjacent arid lowland communities in the Americas. They also provide good high resolution proxy archives…

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Landfalling tropical cyclones in the Eastern Pacific basin (SGP-CRA 2048)

PI: Graciela Binimelis de Raga The Eastern Pacific has the highest density of tropical cyclones worldwide, and upon landfall they often produce catastrophic rains, flooding and landslides…

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Paleotempestology of the Caribbean region: a multi-proxy, multi-site study of the spatial and temporal variability of Caribbean hurricane activity (SGP-CRA 2050)

PI: Kam-biu Liu The pan-Caribbean region is one of the most hurricane-ridden regions of the world. In spite of the enormous damage hurricanes…

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Small coffee producers and adaptive options for a changing climate: the risks and challenges of certification for ecosystem services (SGP-CRA 2060)

PI: Edwin Castellanos Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica are among the fifteen largest coffee exporters in the world, and in the region hundreds of thousands of small farmers depend on some aspect of the coffee industry for their livelihood. As climate change impacts…

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From landscape to ecosystem: across-scales functioning in changing environments (CRN 2005)

PI: Guillermo Sarmiento How are ecosystem boundaries defined? How do they relate to water availability and climate; how do they shift under global change? Can we predict ecosystem displacements?…

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Functional links of aboveground changes and belowground activity with land use (CRN 2014)

PI: Ricardo Luis Louro Berbara Land use and cover change affects the ecological functions which soil microorganisms provide, and that, in turn, affects how they relate to plants. Microorganisms living in symbiosis with plants play an important role…

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DIVERSUS: Functional biodiversity effects on ecosystem processes, ecosystem services and sustainability in the Americas: an interdisciplinary approach (CRN 2015)

PI: Sandra M. Díaz Changing land-use patterns and practices affect the properties and biodiversity of ecosystems. This has implications for the delivery of ecosystem services…

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SACC: An international consortium for the study of ocean related global and climate changes in South America (SGP-CRA 2076)

PI: Alberto Piola Oceans play a significant role in the global climate system; they sequester greenhouse gases, move heat from the equator to polar regions and control the global hydrology. The global Oceans…

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SAEMC: South American emissions, megacities and climate (CRN 2017)

PI: Laura Gallardo Deteriorating air quality in South American mega-cities is receiving increasing attention from local decision makers, scientists and the public. SAEMC provides regional scale past, present and future climate change scenarios…

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Tropi-dry: Human, ecological and biophysical dimensions of tropical dry forests (CRN 2021)

PI: Arturo Sánchez-Azofeifa Tropical dry forests, with their high agricultural and touristic potential and ideal conditions for human settlement, are extremely vulnerable. This research network is developing …

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Land use change in the Rio de la Plata Basin: Linking biophysical and human factors to predict trends, assess impacts, and support viable land use strategies for the future (CRN 2031)

PI: Esteban Jobbágy Food and biofuel production drive large-scale ecosystem conversion; in the La Plata basin alone it has resulted in the conversion of some 30 million hectares over the past 25 years…

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Documenting, understanding and projecting changes in the hydrological cycle in the American cordillera (CRN 2047)

PI: B. H. Luckman Fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce in a warming and more crowded world. Better data are needed for effective management of threatened water supplies from many of the Americas’ mountain regions…

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Tropical cyclones: current characteristics and potential changes under a warmer climate (CRN 2048)

PI: Graciela Binimelis de Raga The Eastern Pacific has the highest density of cyclones worldwide, and upon landfall they often produce catastrophic rains, flooding and landslides….

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Paleotempestology of the Caribbean region: a multi-proxy, multi-site study of the spatial and temporal variability of Caribbean hurricane activity (CRN 2050)

PI: Kam-biu Liu The pan-Caribbean region, which includes Central America, the Caribbean islands, and the U.S. Gulf coast, is one of the most hurricane-ridden regions of the world. In spite of the enormous damage they often inflict when making landfall…

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Effective adaptation strategies and risk reduction towards economic and climatic shocks: lessons from the coffee crisis in Meso-America (CRN 2060)

PI: Edwin Castellanos Coffee farmers in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Costa Rica have been experiencing unusually extreme weather, high incidences of pests and diseases, and volatile prices since 1997. This project looks at how farmers are responding…

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Information flows and policy: use of climate diagnostics and cyclone prediction for adaptive water-resources management under climatic uncertainty in western North America (SGP-HD 005)

PI: Christopher Scott The coupling of human and natural systems poses at least three major types of climate-related risks to human populations and economic activity in western North America…

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Conservation policy impacts in tropical dry forest: regional & spatially focused analysis given other social and natural drivers of land use (SGP-HD 008)

PI: Alexander Pfaff This project is evaluating the impacts of payments and of establishment of reserves in tropical dry forest areas in Costa Rica and Brazil. Payments for ecosystem services and the establishment of forest reserves are important conservation tools…

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Designing a methodology to evaluate local knowledge on global change and its role in the construction of future land use scenarios by local actors (SGP-HD 009)

PI: Jean-François Tourrand How do American rural producers perceive and assimilate climate changes and incorporate this knowledge into their future scenarios?…

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ADAPTE: Adaptation to the health impacts of air pollution and climate extremes in Latin American cities (SGP-HD 013)

PI: Rodney Martinez Urban areas in Latin America are expected to be increasingly affected by heat waves. Yet we don’t know how vulnerable populations are to these and to the interaction of extreme weather and air pollution…

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Decision support system for risk reduction in agriculture phase II: soybean DSS for Eastern Paraguay and Rio Grande do Sul (SGP-HD 014)

PI: Clyde Fraisse Climate variability, particularly lack or excess of rainfall, is a major agricultural production risk. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the strongest known driver of interannual climate variability…

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Climate change, oceanographic variability and the artisinal fisheries in the South West Atlantic (a Human Dimensions project in CRN 2076) (2076-HD)

PI: Patrízia Raggi Abdallah Climate change and variability in the marine and coastal environments pose a risk to fisheries production. Such variability in the marine and coastal environments has an economic impact on fisheries. Subsistence and small scale fisheries…

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Caribbean Coastal Scenarios (CCS): an integrated analysis of inland-coastal linkages to guide sustainable use and protection of coastal ecosystems (CRN 2061)

PI: Assefa Melesse The island nations of the Caribbean are highly vulnerable to environmental change. This project is quantifying the impacts of inland activities on coastal resources under different scenarios of development and climate change…

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SACC: An international consortium for the study of ocean related global and climate changes in South America (CRN 2076)

PI: Alberto Piola Oceans play a huge role in the global climate system; they sequester greenhouse gases, move heat…

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The impact of land cover and land use changes on the hydro-climate of the La Plata Basin (CRN 2094)

PI: Ernesto Hugo Berbery The La Plata basin is key for the economic and social development of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. During the last decades, land use and cover have changed significantly…

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Climate change and irrigated agriculture towards a better understanding of driving forces and feedbacks between decision makers and biophysical environments and their impacts on hydrological cycle and land use (SGP-HD 003)

PI: Francisco J. Meza Increasing competition for water resources together with changes in temperature, precipitation and runoff affect agriculture. Access to irrigation water is key to reduce the impacts of climate variability and change…

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Coming down the mountain: understanding the vulnerability of Andean communities to hydroclimatologic variability and global environmental change (SGP-HD 004)

PI: David Gauthier The capacity of institutions to respond to climate change impacts on agriculture and water resources is examined in three Andean river basins…

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TROPI-DRY: Human, ecological and biophysical dimensions of tropical dry forests (SGP-CRA 2021)

PI: Arturo Sánchez-Azofeifa Tropical dry forests (TDF), with their high agricultural and touristic potential and ideal conditions for human settlement are extremely vulnerable. This research network is developing…

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