Doctoral Dissertation Research: Constructing Futures The Cultural Politics of Water and Climate Grant

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Constructing Futures The Cultural Politics of Water and Climate .


  • Florida International University doctoral candidate Suzana D. Mic, supervised by Dr. Laura A. Ogden, will undertake research on how collaborative governance is produced and maintained in the context of increasing political and environmental stressors. She will do this by gathering data on the community-level processes of water management and infrastructure planning under conditions of anticipated climate change. The research will be carried out in Miami, Florida, which was chosen because it is one of the world's most vulnerable urban regions in terms of assets threatened by rising sea levels. Miami also has a long history of successful water system management that has transformed a former swampy environment into a human-managed and human-centric ecosystem. Miami has been invoked as a model by other municipalities facing similar problems. The researcher will use a range of ethnographic methods to collect the micro-level data needed to understand not only the water management outcomes but also the social, cultural, and political processes that produce those outcomes. Her data will include semi-structured interviews with scientists, environmental activists and planners in the Miami area. She will attend public meetings, planning forums, and board meetings. She will collect and analyze recordings of past climate change planning activities to further examine the socio-political relations, conflicts and points of accord involved in these efforts. In addition, she will review documents at the Florida State Archives related to the history of Miami's water management. Data will be coded and analyzed with qualitative data analysis software to understand how the historical and contemporary processes of water management affect the community's adaptation to the challenges posed by climate change.

date/time interval

  • January 1, 2014 - November 30, 2015

sponsor award ID

  • 1357449