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ERIC Number: ED516818
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 209
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-8002-4
Mapping Climate Change: Six U.S. Case Studies
Holmberg, Marjorie O.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder
This research focuses on the current role of mapping practices in communicating climate change in the United States. This includes maps used in monitoring climate change, projecting its potential impacts, and identifying potential adaptation strategies at particular scales. Since few, if any, studies have been done specifically on mapping practices within the contemporary climate change debate, this research was exploratory. The questions on which I concentrated are: (1) What issues or aspects of climate change are mapped and why? (2) How is climate change depicted visually for different strategic purposes? (3) Why do certain organizations and agencies decide to make maps versus other graphics to communicate about climate change impacts? This study is an initial step in understanding maps as an understudied form of visual communication of climate change impacts--what types of maps are being used for what purposes and through what practices? To answer such questions, I conducted six exploratory, comparative case studies of mapping projects that were designed primarily to either support local or regional decision-making or for increased awareness or action regarding climate change impacts. Each case study consisted of a set of approximately five semi-structured interviews with individuals who have been directly involved in the planning and implementation of the mapping projects. This research was conducted during the spring and summer of 2009. This research suggested several problematic limitations of these mapping projects including inadequately designing for multiple audiences, biases of selection, unresolved uncertainties, and challenges of interactivity and updatability. In addition, the research offered insights into the process, constraints, individual roles and future directions of these projects. The results of my study have implications for both theory and practice. On the one hand, they question some of the assertions of critical cartography. In particular, my study suggests the complexities between scientific expertise and cartographic power. On the other hand, my study suggests how the mapping of climate change is currently problematic. The way maps are currently being used suggests ambivalences about audience needs and about what information is most important to communicate. This research does suggest several issues that are critical to consider when mapping climate change impacts for a public audience. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States