Climate change perception, observation and policy support in rural Nevada: A comparative analysis of Native Americans, non-native ranchers and farmers and mainstream America

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Smith Jr., William James, Zhongwei Liu, Ahmad Saleh Safi, and Karletta Chief
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As climate change research burgeons at a remarkable pace, it is intersecting with research regarding indigenous and rural people in fascinating ways. Yet, there remains a significant gap in integrated quantitative and qualitative methods for studying rural climate change perception and policy support, especially with regard to Native Americans. The objectives of this paper are to utilize our multi-method approach of integrating surveys, interviews, video, literature and fieldwork in innovative ways to: (1) address the aforementioned gap in rural studies, while advancing knowledge regarding effective methodologies for investigation of linkages between socio-political variables and climate change perceptions; and (2) perform comparative primary research regarding the climate change assumptions, risk perceptions, policy preferences, observations and knowledge among rural Nevada's tribes and tribal environmental leaders, non-native ranchers and farmers, and America's general public. The results of this study have ramifications for similar populations in arid and semi-arid lands, particularly in the U.S. Southwest.


Smith Jr., William James, Zhongwei Liu, Ahmad Saleh Safi, and Karletta Chief. 2014. “Climate Change Perception, Observation and Policy Support in Rural Nevada: A Comparative Analysis of Native Americans, Non-Native Ranchers and Farmers and Mainstream America.” Environmental Science & Policy 42 (October): 101–22. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2014.03.007.