Symposium on Climate Change, Hurricanes and their Impact on the (circum) Caribbean

October 12, 2018 Friday 10:00am – 4:45pm

204 Maxwell Hall

Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica, and other locations in the Caribbean region have recently been hit by disastrous hurricanes, with impacts reaching U.S. mainland in areas such as Houston and New Orleans. Ongoing shifts in climate and their severe consequences necessitate going beyond mobilizing relief efforts in the aftermath of storms. We must address these climate-related phenomena in a much broader and more systematic fashion than ever before.

The aim of this symposium is to discuss the climate challenges facing the Caribbean region and beyond. The event will feature five speakers, three panels, a working lunch, and opportunities to form working groups for future engagement with the challenges. The presence of significant populations with Caribbean roots in several metropolitan areas (Boston, Miami, Chicago etc.) in the U.S. as well as the fact that Syracuse University has a notable Caribbean student constituency add to the urgency and relevance of the symposium.

The Symposium will feature excellent panels where speakers will shed light on these and other climate-related issues impacting the Caribbean and beyond. The morning session will provide the larger conceptual frame for what has been occurring: changes in climate, regional limitations in response, and overflow consequences. A working lunch and two afternoon sessions will follow with presentations on climate impacts in areas including Dominica, Colombia, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and Jamaica. A wrap-up session at the end of the day will provide a venue for presenters to connect with one another and for attendees to link the larger perspectives and policy concerns to particular societies, regional policy considerations, and climate-led populations displacements.

Live video


10:00am-10:15am       Welcome and Introduction – Professor Cecilia A. Green, Sociology, Syracuse University

10:20am-12:00pm        Session I

“21st Century Climate Projections for the circum-Caribbean Region,” a presentation by Tripti Bhattacharya, Assistant Professor, Earth Sciences, Syracuse University

 “Hurricane Maria’s Impact on my Family, University, and Community”, a presentation by Bethaida González, Vice President for Community Engagement, Syracuse University

Respondent: Professor Cecilia A. Green, Sociology, Syracuse University

12:15pm-1:30pm        “EDEN was BROKEN- Hurricane Maria and its impact on Dominica”  a presentation by Farah Nibbs, PhD Student, Research Assistant, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware

Respondent: Professor Douglas V. Armstrong, Anthropology, Syracuse University

1:45pm-2:30pm           Session II

“Resilient Peasants, Agrarian Questions, and the Politics of Global Climate Change in the Colombian Caribbean Region” a presentation by Alejandro Camargo, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Social Sciences, Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia, Lino Novás Calvo Lecturer

Respondent: Professor Matthew R. Cleary, Political Science, International Relations Program, Syracuse University

2:45pm-4:00pm           Session III

“The Long Road to Recovery: A Critical Look at Sint Maarten post Irma” a presentation by Kevon Rhiney, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

“Climate Perceptions and Justice in the Caribbean” a presentation by April Karen Baptiste, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies Program, African and Latin American Studies Program, Co-director of Dart Colegrove Commons, Colgate University

Moderator: Teresita Paniagua, Executive Director, Office of Cultural Engagement for the Hispanic Community, Syracuse University 

4:00pm-4:30pm           Changing the Winds: A Panel Discussion on Ideas for the Future

Respondent: Professor Tom Perreault, Geography, Syracuse University

4:30pm-4:45pm           Closing Remarks – Professor Arthur Paris, Sociology, Syracuse University


Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

Program on Latin America and the Caribbean (PLACA)

Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

Lino Novás Calvo Fund

Syracuse University Office of Government and Community Relations 

Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC)

Latino-Latin American Studies Program (LLAS)

Department of Geography

International Relations Program

Department of Sociology

Department of Political Science

Department of African American Studies

Community Folk Art Center

Contact Havva Karakas-Keles for accessibility requests or for more information at