Call for an MSc student in Environmental Studies Assessing “climate change research” carbon footprint: The LICCI project case study

Requisite: Student of the Master in Interdisciplinary Studies in Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability (MEISAES, ICTA-UAB) or Degrowth Master, fluent in Spanish/Catalan and English.

Description: This call is offered within the framework of the ERC funded project LICCI”Local Indicators of Climate Change Impacts. The Contribution of Local Knowledge to Climate Change Research” (www.licci.eu). The main objective of this research project is to show the potential of Indigenous and local knowledge systems to improve our understanding of local climate change impacts on physical, biological, and socioeconomic systems. Despite being a project aiming to contribute to “climate change research”, we are unaware of the carbon footprint of activities associated to the project. This MSc thesis will be oriented to calculate the past and projected carbon footprint of scientific activities associated to the project and propose guidelines and strategies to reduce and mitigate the carbon emissions associated to research activities.

Objectives: The proposed Master thesis will be using a combination of literature review and information from the LICCI project as main sources of data. The specific objectives are:

  1. to review the (published and grey) literature on the carbon footprint of researchers in general and climate-research in particular. The review should include theoretical considerations, methodological insights, and proposals for reduction of carbon footprint;
  2. to estimate the past and projected carbon footprint of research activities associated to the LICCI project;
  3. to design and analyze how scenarios of carbon reduction might (or might not) impact the scientific objectives of the LICCI project. Potential scenarios should be based on recommendations from the literature review and include a) business as usual; b) low reduction; c) zero-carbon emissions; and
  4. to propose guidelines and strategies to reduce and mitigate the carbon emissions associated to research in general and of the LICCI project in particular.

Technical details: The thesis will be directed by Victoria Reyes-García, PI of the LICCI project, and Andre B. Junqueira (postdoctoral researcher). Other members of the LICCI team might also provide support. We expect that a revised version of the MSc Thesis could result in a) guidelines and strategies to reduce and mitigate the carbon emissions associated to research, and b) a paper to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.

Opportunities: The MSc student will be part of a research team working on interdisciplinary social-ecological research at ICTA-UAB, benefitting from direct interactions with a number of highly-qualified international researchers (http://www.laseg.cat/en and https://licci.eu/). The student will also get experience in reviewing and synthesizing published literature, and in writing and publishing a scientific article.

If you are interested on writing your MSc thesis on this topic, please contact

Victoria.reyes@uab.cat and/or Andre.junqueira@uab.cat

Deadline: 31st January 2020