Chase Sova

DPhil in Geography and the Environment (SOGE), Environmental Change Institute (ECI) on climate change adaptation within the agricultural sector

What are you studying?

"I'm doing a DPhil in Geography and the Environment (SOGE), Environmental Change Institute (ECI)"

What's your research about?

"My research is on climate change adaptation within the agricultural sector. I represent one of four “lenses” (social, environmental, economic and political) on a four-student project called Systemic Integrated Adaptation (SIA), led out of the Environmental Change Institute in partnership with the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).  The aim of the SIA initiative is to provide truly interdisciplinary research on climate change adaptation by drawing together researchers with diverse backgrounds and disciplinary training.  Within the project, I represent the political lens and am focussing on understanding how central level adaptation policy impacts small scale agricultural producers, and, in turn, how the viewpoints of those producers are captured in the policy process.  I’m working at the intersection between planned and autonomous adaptation to climate change, focussing specifically on power/influence dynamics between actors across multiple levels and how these processes affect the equitable delivery of adaptation projects and funding."

What's your background that led you to studying at Oxford?

"My post prior to arriving at Oxford was with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the lead center for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).  I worked as a visiting researcher with CIAT’s Decision and Policy Analysis (DAPA) program and with CCAFS Theme 1: Adaptation to Progressive Climate Change, coordinating research on the costs of progressive, community-based adaptation, national climate change policy, and the cross-level interface between planned and autonomous adaptation.

My background is in political science and socioeconomics, with project experience in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Prior to my work with CCAFS and Oxford University, I completed a post at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) based in Rome as a member of the Investment Assessment Project team."

What do you hope to do next, when you have finished your studies at Oxford?

"I hope to continue my work in climate change adaptation policy within the agricultural sector, applying my research experience within a governmental/intergovernmental development agency."

What led you to choose Oxford?

"CCAFS maintains a strong relationship with Oxford University and has run several joint research initiatives out of the School of Geography and the Environment.   When CCAFS expressed interest in starting an integrated research initiative, the ECI was the natural choice.  Personally, I saw an opportunity to work with a diverse group of senior researchers and academics with strong backgrounds in sustainable development, food security, and environmental governance.   As a testament to its diversity, the SoGE and ECI also host a cutting edge climate modelling community, providing an opportunity for climate change researchers - like my team – to work between the social and physical sciences."

See Chase's profile in our Food Research Network.

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