Science and Indigenous Ways of...

Science and Indigenous Ways of Knowing United to Address Climate Change Issues at NCAR

Over the past 20 years, the effects of changing climate on indigenous people have increasingly grabbed the attention of the world’s decision makers and scientists. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report on the impacts of climate change specifically considers how indigenous groups in different world regions will manage these changes, while the U.S. National Climate Assessment included for the first time a chapter devoted to these issues. UCAR and NCAR scientists have worked with indigenous people from around the world on these questions for many years and in an upcoming event, Rising Voices II, a workshop on Adaptation to Climate Change and Variability: Bringing Together Science and Indigenous Ways of Knowing to Create Positive Solutions, scientists will have a further opportunity to participate in a conversation on the topic.

On June 30 to July 1, 2014, Rising Voices II will see scientists, indigenous leaders, and students and early career scientists come together to discuss ways native people may have to address, mitigate, and adapt to climate change and climate variability. This meeting builds on the summer 2013 Rising Voices of Indigenous People in Weather and Climate Science Workshop (Rising Voices I), which launched a targeted conversation that explored science and indigenous ways of knowing, with the goal of identifying positive solutions for managing the effects of changing climate. Rising Voices I included a seasoned group of experts who had long worked on these issues. The intimate setting and small group facilitated detailed exploration and conversation on the issues, engaging those in the room to share their experiences and successes.

Building on the dialog initiated during the first meeting, and expanding involvement so as to more broadly tackle many of the issues raised at last year’s workshop, Rising Voices II participants will take a look at ways of managing climate change impacts. Three topical themes will be the focus of meeting discussion, including:

  • Lessons learned and best practices for community-led relocation.
  • Future strategies for mitigation, adaptation, and capacity building.
  • Explore strategies and scenarios for new visions of community resilience 


The perspective of NCAR and UCAR researchers is critical to these discussions, and staff is encouraged to participate in the upcoming conversation, which will take place over two days (June 30-July 1) in the Center Green auditorium. For more information on the agenda and other meeting details, see the Rising Voices II wiki,, or contact Heather Lazrus (