University of Colorado Boulder
Jerry Jacka is an associate professor focusing on environmental anthropology in the department of anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Broadly, his research examines the impacts of resource development on communities and their environments. He works primarily with indigenous people, studying both sustainability and the limits to resilience in their social and ecological systems. In terms of hazards and risks, his research examines the impacts of climate change on food security and social networks in highlands Papua New Guinea. Severe El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events cause months-long droughts and frosts in the highlands that destroy subsistence food crops. Customarily, people utilized diverse gardening practices and long-distance migration to mitigate food insecurity. However, economic development and other social changes are challenging these adaptive strategies.
A new project he is developing investigates the political ecology of risk and vulnerability associated with mine closure and the Superfund listing of abandoned mines in southwestern Colorado.