Climate Change/Variability and Armed Conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa

A Collaborative Project of the Environment, Society and the Economy (ESE) Initiative of the National Science Foundation (NSF)

    Grant number 0964687

CU Principal Investigators

John O'Loughlin

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado

John O'Loughlin is College Professor of Distinction, Professor of Geography and Faculty Research Associate in the Political and Economic Change Program of the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado. He received his Ph.D. in Geography from the Pennsylvania State University in 1973. His research interests are in the spatial analysis of conflict including the relationship between climate/environmental change and conflict as well as in the political geography of the post-Soviet Union, including Russian and Ukrainian geopolitics, Eurasian quasi-states, and ethno-territorial nationalisms. He has also published on the diffusion of democracy, electoral geography, and the electoral geography of Nazi Germany. He is editor-in-chief of Political Geography. He teaches undergraduate classes in Political Geography, Geographies of Global Change, and the Geography of Western Europe, and graduate classes in Political Geography.


Mara Goldman, Co-PI

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado

Mara Goldman just completed a project sponsored by a NSF International Research Fellowship Program: Communication and the Politics of Participation in Pastoral Societies: An Ethno- Geographical Analysis in East Africa under the guidance of Dr. Robin Reid at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi. The objective of this project was 1) to illuminate the particular social, cultural and geographical elements which characterize informal and formal communication processes in pastoral communities; and how they facilitate and/or constrain information flow in different circumstances; and 2) to investigate the ways in which trans-local social networks, changing social norms, and particular communication strategies used by pastoralists, interact with uneven power relations to constrain or facilitate communication in “participatory” conservation and development projects, including work by Pastoralist Civil Society Organizations (PNGOs). The project included ethnographic fieldwork across four Maasai sites spanning Kenya and Tanzania. Preliminary findings were shared at meetings in Tanzania and Kenya, and are included in two forthcoming book chapters.


NCAR Principal Investigators

Arlene Laing

Arlene Laing is currently supported by NCAR base funding from the National Science Foundation, contract number NSF0001 and NSF0100. Her research interests are precipitating convective systems, specializing in developing climatologies from satellite data analysis and numerical prediction of precipitation and convection in Africa. Dr. Laing has used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to relate lightning and the El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) to wildfire forecasting and applied a mesoscale model to predict volcanic ash deposition.


Jimy Dudhia

Jimy Dudhia is partially supported by NCAR base funding from the National Science Foundation, contract number NSF0001 and NSF0100. His research includes development of physics packages and regional climate capabilities for the Weather Research and Forecast Model (WRF) including the Nested Regional Climate Model.


Andrew Gettelman

Andrew Gettelman's research interests concern the effect of water vapor on the climate of the atmosphere and the chemistry of the stratosphere. Research interests also include the needs and challenges faced by developing scientists in atmospheric science and climatology, and seeking to help those scientists conduct their work better. He is also currently serving as the communications secretary for the Atmospheric Sciences section of the American Geophysical Union. Dr. Gettelman received his PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1999. Prior to attending graduate school, he was a coordinator of the US Climate Action Network in Washington, DC, and an intern with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Joe Tribbia

Joe Tribbia is Head of the Climate Dynamics and Predictability (CDP) section in the Division of Climate and Global Dynamics (CGD) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Postdoctoral Associate

Frank Witmer

University of Colorado


Research Assistants

Andrew Linke

University of Colorado


Meredith Deboom

University of Colorado