ICARUS: Initiative on Climate Adaptation Research and Understanding through the Social Sciences


The Initiative on Climate Adaptation Research and Understanding through the Social Sciences is an effort to bring together scholars, researchers, students, decision makers, and activists interested in working on adaptation to climate variability and change. Members of the initiative are particularly interested in social-scientific and humanistic approaches to understanding climate-related vulnerabilities, risks, and human and ecosystem responses to vulnerability and risks over time and across scales. 

Vulnerability and adaptation are key concepts in the social science literature on climate change. They have long inter-linked histories. Scholars of development, disaster management and mitigation, hunger, famine, and migration, and ecological systems have contributed insights on the meanings and drivers of vulnerability. Development of systematic ideas about adaptation continues to occur in a variety of fields – in both the ecological and the social sciences. The ways these writings are applicable to understanding and intervening in climate-related stresses, crises and responses remain vigorous arenas query and debate. In recent years there have been many calls (by IPCC, NSF, Stern Review and others) for greater social science engagement in climate research. ICARUS responds to these calls.

Guided by the four ICARUS founders, Arun Agrawal, Maria Lemos, Ben Orlove and Jesse Ribot, the research and practical interests of ICARUS members are wide and broad ranging. Initiative aims to serve as a forum for discussionexchanges, and interactions among members and others interested in climate variability and change.

To see images and read through papers and presentations from the previous inaugural meetings of ICARUS follow the links below:


Previous Conferences: