Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Environmental Health Sciences

First Advisor

Dwayne E. Porter


Climate change exacerbates existing societal inequalities, including those related to uneven adaptation developments. Often, climate change prompts societies in Oceania to implement adaptation strategies to deal directly and indirectly with related issues. The futures of island nation inhabitants have sparked as much curiosity and inquiry as it has fears of diminished futures for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Narratives and discourse on climate change adaptation range from engineered solutions to address sea level rise and storm wave issues, to pessimistic retreat with claims that islands are sinking and little can be done but move elsewhere. These disparate realities call into question the very nature of how the topic of climate change is mediated through perception, and how climate change information is presented to those who take part in decision-making processes. It also calls into question the role of international, federal, regional and local agencies and disparate and diverging goals for how to overcome barriers for combating climate change at and between various scales of interaction. The dissertation research presented here is focused on addressing these barriers and issues by assessing how data are presented and when and how information is utilized in various outcomes ranging from incremental to systemic change.

More specifically, the research presented here focuses on several of these communication-related climate change and adaptation issues, including several broad focuses. This includes assessing the application of climate change terminology in literature, improving methodological research approaches for adaptation planning in island states, and power and knowledge contestation in decision-making processes. Similarly, this dissertation translates the previous focuses into progressively granular veins of reality and resulting inquiry by assessing how planned relocation in the Choiseul Province of Solomon Islands can be used to offset climate change and economic vulnerability, and how migration can be opportunistically used as a form of climate change adaptation in the Taro Township in the Choiseul Province. Structurally, this work is organized into five interrelated chapters associated with climate change, migration, economic/international development, and adaptation decision-making. These themes start at a regional scale and move to focusing on the island nation of Solomon Island with a subsequent focus on an adaptation hotspot, Taro Township in Choiseul Province.


© 2022, Adam Christopher Ereth

Available for download on Friday, May 31, 2024