Maxwell T. Boykoff

Max Boykoff

Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, 2006
CIRES Fellow and Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies Program (ENVS)

Office: 1333 Grandview
Phone: 303-735-0451
Web: about_us/meet_us/max_boykoff/

Research Interests

Max’s research and creative work has two primary focal areas. One is on the ‘cultural politics of climate change’ which refers to how the attitudes, intentions, beliefs and behaviors of individuals and groups shape (and are shaped by) the perceived spectrum of possible action in the context of climate change. A second focus is on the transformations of carbon-based economies and societies, with a particular emphasis on the interface of science and practical action, including policies. Through many connected projects and collaborations, his research commitments have been fueled by interests in how climate science and policy find meaning in people’s everyday lives, as well as how this, in turn, feeds back into science-policy decision-making.

Current Research: Successful adaptation to climate change

I have ongoing interests in climate adaptation, cultural politics and environmental governance, science-policy interactions, and political economy and the
environment. My research concentrates on interactions between state and non-state actors at the interface of environmental science, policy, and practice. I have been working in two primary research areas: 1) issues in the cultural politics of climate change, and 2) transformations of carbon-based economies and societies. One project involves ongoing monitoring of media attention to climate change, with monthly appraisals at the global and country scales, which include the United States, the United Kingdom, India, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Japan. See more at: media_coverage/. Another project is a new, co-edited (with Susanne Moser, Ph.D.) volume called“Successful Adaptation to Climate Change: Linking Science and Policy in a Rapidly Changing World” ( books/details/9780415525008/). This project unpacks the question of successful adaptation and offers both scientifically informed and practice-relevant answers from various sectors and regions of the world. It brings together chapters from leading experts within the field and demonstrates how the question of success in important ways is normative and context-specific. It identifies the various dimensions of success, such as economic, political, institutional, ecological, and social; explores the tensions among them; and compiles encouraging evidence that resolutions can be found. The book appraises how climatic and non-climatic stressors play a role; what role science does and can play in adaptation decision making; and how trade-offs and other concerns and priorities shape adaptation planning and implementation on the ground. Adaptation is increasingly recognized as an important climate-riskmanagement strategy, and on-the-ground adaptation planning activity is becoming more commonplace. Still lacking is clear guidance as to what success would look like, what to aim for, and how to judge progress. This text, therefore, endeavors to bridge the gap between science and practical applications of successful adaptation strategies.

boykoff book cover



Selected Publications

Click here for a complete list of published works »

Also: Dr. Boykoff is a member of the CIRES Professor.