Living on the Margins

Submitted by Sukaina Bharwani | published 25th Mar 2011 | last updated 17th Mar 2020

In fall 2008, a group of five undergraduate students and three graduate students participated in a seminar led by two faculty members from AESEDA and the Penn State Department of Geography, Dr. Petra Tschakert and Dr. Robert Crane. The purpose of this seminar was to explore issues of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. Instead of final papers, the students' main output was a series of learning tools that could be used by marginalized populations in Africa to prepare for and adapt to uncertain future climate conditions.

The seminar, titled "Living on the Margins", focused on both the vulnerabilities and unique capacities of marginalized populations. Marginalization can occur in three contexts: environmental margins, social margins and margins of knowledge. The purpose of the seminar was to understand these types of marginalization in the context of climate change in specific regions of sub-Saharan Africa, one of the places most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. The ultimate goal of the class was to take action to minimize vulnerability by creating tools to help people enhance adaptive capacity. In the links below, you can find more information about the four tools that were created by four teams of students, each tool on its respective wiki site:

See Also

Penn State University


External Links

Department of Geography, The Pennsylvania State University

The Alliance for Earth Sciences, Engineering, and Development in Africa (AESEDA)