Copyright © 2016 NCCARF's Vulnerable Communities Network/The University of Adelaide, All rights reserved.

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Newsletter #4


- A word from the VCN convener and manager 

- Vulnerable Communities Network NCCARF conference travel scholarship - Applications open!

- VCN Masterclass with Prof. Kristie Ebi - Applications open!

-  Research and policy news from Australia and around the world

Dear Members,  

As some of you may already know, NCCARF and CSIRO's 5th National Climate Adaptation Conference 2016 will be held in lovely Adelaide between 5-7 July (and by then considerably milder!). Like previous conferences, this iteration promises to showcase Australian and international climate change adaptation knowledge and its application to policy development. The conference programme will feature over 250 presentations, including an early career day on July 4.

The Vulnerable Communities Network is very pleased to announce a dedicated session for talks related to VCN's focus. More details on this as we move closer to July.

Conferences can be expensive events to attend, especially if you are an early career researcher or an up and coming practitioner or policy-maker. To assist with this expense, VCN is providing two exciting travel scholarship pathways to members wanting to attend the conference and/or the VCN Masterclass with Prof. Kristie Ebi, to be held just after the conference (July 8).  You will find more details on the scholarship programmes and Masterclass in this newsletter.

If you know of anyone (e.g. a student or colleague) who is not yet a member of VCN, and who may benefit from financial support in helping to attend the conference, please pass this email on to those interested.

Please note that abstract submissions for Climate Adaptation 2016 close soon (March 7, 2016)

All the best,

Scott and Peng


VCN Early Career Researcher and practitioner Masterclass with Prof. Kristie Ebi. Adelaide, July 8, 2016.

Travel scholarship applications open


Are you an early career researcher (ECR), partitioner or decision-maker working in the community service or government sectors and have an interest in climate change adaptation, vulnerability, health and resilience related to vulnerable communities or populations?

If so, you may be in the running to receive an all-expenses-paid scholarship to attend a Masterclass in Adelaide with Professor Kristie Ebi (University of Washington - a world-renowned expert on the sources of vulnerability and the design of adaptation policies and measures to reduce the risk of climate change in a multi-stressor environment.

The Masterclass, in association with the  NCCARF's  Climate Adaptation 2016, will be held the day after the conference on Friday July 8. 

Up to 20 applicants will be selected to participate, receiving travel, food and accommodation. You will also have the opportunity to present your research, network with your peers, and develop invaluable knowledge of, and relationships within, the sector.

Submission Guidelines: Forward 
a short description of your work to: by COB on Friday, May 22, 2016. In your cover letter, you should also nominate two referees (academic, industry or government) to support your submission.
Please also indicate what city/state you will be travelling from.

The VCN Adapt16 Conference Scholarship Programme is an exciting opportunity to present your research, policy or project work at one of the leading international conferences on climate change adaptation. VCN travel scholarships provide valuable opportunities to share knowledge on how climate change will affect already vulnerable populations, and how resilience can be enhanced. 
Participation is open to early career researchers (5 years and under since being awarded a 
PhD), practitioners in the industry or government sector, and Masters or PhD candidates, with an interest in climate change adaptation and resilience research related to vulnerable communities or populations.
Thirteen travel scholarships will be awarded. Successful applicants who do not live within 2 hours driving distance of Adelaide will be eligible for reasonable travel expenses to attend the event, including flights, accommodation and meals. All successful applicants will receive full registration to the conference.

Please note, conference abstract submissions close soon (March 7, 2016), so please submit an abstract before applying for a travel scholarship.
Submission Guidelines:

  1. If you are not already a member of VCN, please join by going to
  2. Submit an oral or ‘speedtalk’ presentation abstract by March 7, 2016, on the Adapt2016 conference website and note in your abstract that you are wishing to present at the Vulnerable Communities Network (VCN) session.
  3. Email a copy of your conference abstract and academic CV to by COB on Friday May 22 2016. Within your email please nominate two referees to support your submission & include their brief written references. Also, please indicate your address.
Your abstract/proposed presentation should clearly identify your research area of interes

 VCN research and policy news from Australia, and around the world
Featured paper: Social vulnerability in three high-poverty climate change hot spots: What does the climate change literature tell us?

Josephine Tucker, Mona Daoud, Naomi Oates, Roger Few, Declan Conway, Sobona Mtisi, Shirley Matheson. Regional Environmental Change (2015) 15:783–800

Abstract: This paper reviews the state of knowledge on social vulnerability to climate change in three hot spots (deltas, semi-arid regions and snowpack- or glacier-fed river basins) in Africa, Central Asia and South Asia, using elements of systematic review methods. Social vulnerability is defined as a dynamic state of societies comprising exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. We examine whether the hot spots have specific characteristics that tend to increase or decrease social vulnerability, consider suitable scales of analysis for understanding vulnerability, and explore the conceptions of vulnerability adopted in the climate change literature and the nature of the insights this generates. Finally, we identify knowledge gaps in this literature. All three hot spots are characterized by high levels of natural resource dependence, with increasing environmental degradation. They also exhibit unequal policies and patterns of development, which benefit certain segments of society while making others more vulnerable. Vulnerability is driven by multiple factors operating at different scales; however, characterization of cross-scalar interactions is poorly developed in the majority of studies reviewed. Most studies are either large scale, such as broad comparisons of vulnerability across countries, or local, documenting community-level processes. Detailed understanding of the interactions between climate change impacts on natural systems, and socio-economic trajectories, including adaptation, also emerges as a knowledge gap.

The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility's Vulnerable Communities Network is supported through funding from the Australian Government
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Copyright © 2016 NCCARF's Vulnerable Communities Network/The University of Adelaide, All rights reserved.

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