Geography Speaker Series: Lawrence Hamilton

Feb 25th, 2013

J. Thorburn

Lawrence Hamilton
Geography Speaker Series: Lawrence Hamilton

Dr. Lawrence Hamilton (University of New Hampshire) is joining us this week as part of the Geography Seminar Series. He will be discussing "Integration of Social and Natural-Science Data" on Friday, March 1 at 3:00 p.m. in SN 2025. The abstract for his talk can be found below.

Dr.Hamilton is a Professor of Sociology and Senior Fellow at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. His research includes interdisciplinary studies of human-environment interactions around the circumpolar north, with case studies or comparative overviews of communities in Alaska, Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway. Recent papers present a framework for linking pan-Arctic human and physical data, and integrated analysis o fweather, demographic and resource-use data in villages of Arctic Alaska. Dr. Hamilton also conducts surveys of general-public knowledge and beliefs about the environment, and particularly about climate change. Recent papers analyzed the demographics of true and false climate facts, or connections between public beliefs and physical climate or weather. The February 1 issue of Science reprinted a striking result, the “Zorro” graph, from one of these papers.


In Northern studies and in research on climate, environmental and social changes are often interconnected. The need for integrated research in such areas has been widely recognized, but it can be challenging to work out in practice. Research by a sociologist collaborating with climatologists, oceanographers and other natural scientists provides examples that illustrate different approaches, showing  some practical ways to harmonize diverse data structures, and conduct rigorous analyses across disciplinary boundaries. These examples draw from recent studies of Northern Atlantic fishing communities, impacts of climate change on ski areas, Alaska village electricity use, and public knowledge and beliefs about climate change.