Dr. Diana Liverman brings a very global perspective to the Fathoming Water series. This episode introduces many of the concepts we will be hearing about in future episodes. Diana’s main concern is with the fate of the disadvantaged and disempowered in a changing climate – the poor, women, children, and other species- so this interview is where we start to get to explore how water truly touches on everything in life from women’s rights, to consumption, to even music.
We start off with the discussion about one of the most obvious connections, food. In this episode we start to realize how interconnected our food supplies are globally. Next week we will have a Thanksgiving Special with local farm president Brian Wong so that everyone can have the chance to truly be thankful we have such full tables considering how risk from weather events on the other side of the globe can affect our access to food and how much we pay for food. Food security is one of Dr. Liverman’s main areas of study and in this episode she lays out the basics.
Diana Liverman has had the opportunity to meet with many global leaders through her work and we get a chance to discuss who she has met and why. A week after we recorded this interview she attended the “White House Summit on Climate & the Road to Paris: Business & Science Coming Together.” The White House convened business leaders from companies across the country to join the American Business Act on Climate Pledge in preparation for the Paris Global Climate Summit happening in the first weeks of December. Video from this panel of business leaders, academics and other policy experts can be found on YouTube on The White House channel.
Dr. Diana Liverman is the co-director of the University of Arizona Institute of the Environmentwith Professor Jonathan Overpeck (Peck). The Institute promotes interdisciplinary research, teaching and outreach on the environment at The University of Arizona. Her tenure and disciplinary home is in the School of Geography and Developmentwhere she teaches a graduate seminar and a core course for the Environmental Studies BA. She has maintained an affiliation with Oxford University where she is a visiting professor of Environmental Policy and Development in the School of Geography and Environment, a fellow ofLinacre College, and a fellow in theEnvironmental Change Institute.
Her career has focused on the human dimensions of global environmental change and her main research interests include climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and climate policy and mitigation especially in the developing world. She also works on the political economy and political ecology of environmental management in the Americas, especially in Mexico. She has been an active member of national and international advisory committees on global change including the US NAS Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change and the Inter American Institute (IAI) for Global Change Research. She was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on America’s Climate Choices and chair of the subpanel on Informing Decisions. She chaired the scientific advisory committee international Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS) program and sat on the parent committee for the international Earth Systems Science Partnership and on the IHDP Earth Systems Governance scientific advisory committee. Her editorial board roles include the Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Climatic Change,Environmental Science and Policy, and Global Environmental Change. She has worked closely with several arts and cultural organizations on climate change issues.