I went back and forth with my thesis theme, but finally I had found it. Most importantly I found my teammates Andrea and Karina! We are teaming up to study sea level rise and its effects in communities in Miami. The result will be an intervention that will help those affected understand the problem and more importantly take actions so that the effects are less devastating. Why did I pick this problem? I can tell you more about it in my next post.
For now we sat together to answer the following questions:
How many people are affected by this problem?
Many of the most populated cities of the world are in coastal areas. New York, Miami, London, and Tokyo are among them. This means SLR affects a lot of people. In fact it is estimated than more than 1 billion of us live close to the water. Although we will be affected first, the effects will be felt far from the coast. For example, in Florida sea level rise will compromise the quality of the water in the underground aquifer which is the main source of drinking water for a third of Floridians.
How the behavior change related to the issue could be measured?
The reality is that sea level rise is going to happen and our intervention will not stop it. Although it is still very early to say what our intervention will look like we think we will be able to measure the community's awareness on the problem and its knowledge on possible courses of action.
What is the relationship of your topic to a social or structural problem?
To understand the effects of SLR we created a map.
What we found is that the overarching structures affected by SLR are the population, the built environment, and the natural environment and ecosystems. The effects of this problem in this structures could result in social problems such as homelessness, economic problems such as disruption in the tourist field, and health problems resulting from contaminated water used to drink and in agricultural lands.