October 22, 2020

Panel discussion.

The Environmental Studies Department's Earth Issues Seminar Series continues with a presentation of student-faculty research funded by Dickinson College’s Center for Sustainability Education. Dr. Shamma Alam (International Studies), Dr. Heather Bedi (Environmental Studies), Aisha Rodriguez (22’, Environmental Studies), and Amir Zawad (22’, Computer Science) will present "Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation among Bangladesh Agriculturalists."


With support from a CSE grant, two faculty members (Dr. Shamma Alam and Dr. Heather Bedi) conducted collaborative research with students Aisha Rodriguez (22’, Environmental Studies) and Amir Zawad (22’, Computer Science) during the summer of 2020. Their research questioned if and how climate change impacts agriculture, with a focus on Bangladesh. Agricultural lands feed the world’s population, provide ecosystem services, and if managed properly can promote biodiversity and mitigate climate change through carbon dioxide sequestration. These lands are vital to food security, which is imperative to the no global hunger objective of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Global food security is at risk from climatic change related increased temperatures, fluctuating precipitation levels, and greater frequency of extreme weather. Bangladesh’s low topography, high population density, high poverty levels, and economic dependency on agriculture indicates a higher vulnerability to climate change, despite the nation’s minimal greenhouse gas emissions.

To examine these trends in Bangladesh, the research group analyzed a survey of 800 Bangladeshi farmers to understand how they experience and adapt to climate change. The group quantitatively collated the data, analyzed it, and put the findings in conversation with literature on climatic agricultural adaptationand sustainable development efforts. Through this analysis, the group determined that over 90% of farmers reported changing their practices because they observed long term shifts in climate. The majority of these farmers reported significant changes to important agricultural practices such as changing the variety of crop they produce, irrigating their farms more, and increasing their fertilizer application.


Dr. Shamma Alam received his Ph.D. in economics in June 2014 from University of Washington – Seattle. He received his B.A in Economics from Franklin & Marshall College, and M.A. in Economics from University of Washington. His research interests are in Development, Health, and Population Economics with focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In the past, he has worked for the development organizations Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank.
Dr. Heather Bedi received her Ph.D. in geography from Cambridge University. Dr. Bedi’s research examines how civil society and socio-environmental movements experience and adapt to natural resource and landscape modifications related to energy processes, climate change, industrialization, and agricultural transitions. Her research has been funded by the Fulbright Program, the Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust, and the UK-India Education Research Initiative.
Aisha Rodriguez '22 is a junior majoring in environmental studies and is pursuing the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate. Her future aspirations include environmental justice work in Latin America and the Caribbean. She hopes to assist in increasing both food security and food sovereignty in these areas, as well as work in natural disaster mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Amir Habib Zawad '22 is a junior majoring in computer science and mathematics. His main area of interest lies with the application of deep learning neural networks, focusing on the applications of Computer Vision. Amir aspires to pursue a Ph.D in Deep Learning and Computer Vision and applying that knowledge in the research of autonomous vehicle.



Further information

  • Location: Online
  • Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Calendar Icon
  • Cost: Free