Climate Change Adaptation Research Group

The Climate Change Adaptation Research Group is based in the department of geography at McGill University. Led by Dr James Ford, the group’s research takes place at the interface between science and policy, with a strong focus on adaptation to climate change among Indigenous populations, vulnerability assessment, stakeholder engagement for adaptation planning, novel approaches for tracking adaptation at global to regional levels, and knowledge synthesis. The group is currently involved with the following research projects and programs:

Photo Credit: Graham McDowell

Capturing the dynamic nature of climate change vulnerability & adaptation in the Arctic (2006 - ongoing)

This project is working with Inuit communities to understand the dynamics through which communities experience and adapt to climate change, examining how the complex interaction between socio-economic and biophysical drivers at multiple spatial-temporal scales plays out in specific places. Key foci include: resource management, food security, the dangers of engaging in land-based activities in a changing climate, and the long-term implications of adaptation and coping mechanisms for Inuit society.

Photo Credit: Will Vanderbilt

Tracking climate change adaptation at local to global levels (2009 - ongoing)

This project is developing novel methods to track adaptation action in different sectors and at different scales, posing the question: Are we adapting to climate change? Ongoing work in this project is focusing on methodological development and refinement for adaptation tracking, monitoring, and evaluation.

Photo Credit: Graham McDowell

Conceptual developments in climate change vulnerability & adaptation research (ongoing: cross-cutting research theme of the CCARG)

A key theme that ties together many of the projects in the group is the advancement of theoretical, conceptual, and methodological approaches to climate change vulnerability and adaptation research. In particular, this work has advanced vulnerability research in an Indigenous peoples’ context and for industrial sectors (i.e. mining).

Photo Credit: IHACC

Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change (IHACC) (2010 - ongoing)

The Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change project is a multinational interdisciplinary research project to develop an understanding of the vulnerability of remote Indigenous health systems to climate change as a basis for implementing pilot adaptation interventions and adaptation planning. Visit for more information.

Photo Credit: Tristan Pearce

Inuit Traditional Knowledge for Adapting to the Health Effects of Climate Change (IK-ADAPT) (2012 - 2015)

The Inuit Traditional Knowledge for Adapting to the Health Effects of Climate Change project (IK-ADAPT) is a trans-disciplinary project that combines scientific research and traditional knowledge to inform policy and programming needed to assist Inuit communities adapt to the health effects of climate change. Working closely with 6 communities across Arctic Canada and knowledge users at multiple levels, the project will examine ways to document, conserve, and promote Inuit traditional knowledge (IK) to prevent, prepare for, and manage the impacts of climate change on health. Visit for more information.