On Wednesday, May 30, from 12:00–1:00 pm please join us for the next Spatial Technology Lunch in the Center for Spatial Studies (Phelps Hall 3512). This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community. Please RSVP to Crystal Bae (cbae@spatial.ucsb.edu) by Monday, May 28. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

Integrating heterogeneous, dynamic adaptation behaviour in drought risk modelling

Marthe Wens


Abstract: Droughts are a prevalent and costly hazard impacting urban, agricultural, and natural systems. Increasing climate variability is expected to exacerbate drought conditions in many parts of the world while evolving socio-economic conditions and adaptation strategies influence both short and long term risk to ecosystems, economies, and human health. Since adaptation strategies evolve over time, explicitly modeling these dynamics is important for understanding future risk.

In this talk I will advocate extending the traditional drought-risk framework to better include the bilateral relationship between human and physical systems. The use of agent-based modeling technique to simulate the co-evolution of future drought hazard, exposure, vulnerability and heterogeneous, individual adaptation decisions, is showcased using a case study in Kitui, rural East Kenya.

Marthe Wens is currently a PhD Student in the Department of Water and Climate Risk Institute for Environmental Studies at the Instituut voor Milieuvraagstukken (IVM).