[CSDE Seminar] Riosmena on "U.S. Migration from Rural Mexico as an Adaptation Strategy to Climatic Variability: A Look across Contexts"

Start Date/Time: Friday, November 15, 2013, 12:30 PM
Ending Date/Time: Friday, November 15, 2013, 1:30 PM
Location: Raitt Hall, Room 121

A demographers perspective on climate change.

Fernando Riosmena, Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder

Dr. Riosmena's research looks at how demographic processes are associated with the spatial and social mobility, well-being, and development in Latin American societies and immigrant communities from said region in the United States. His main research areas are immigrant health throughout different stages of the migration process and the role of U.S. immigration policy and social, economic, and environmental conditions in sending communities on the migration dynamics between Latin America and the United States.

For more on Fernando Riosmena and his work, please go to


Climate change has been and will likely be accompanied by an additional increase in the frequency and severity of rapid- and slower-onset events such as floods and droughts. When in situ adaptive capacity is strained, migration can serve as an adaptation strategy to climate-induced vulnerability in several ways described in the literature on adaptation and vulnerability as well as by some migration theories. Scholars generally agree that, with few exceptions, displacement of individuals from a given country led by increasing climatic variability will largely take place within national borders. However, as prior work shows that the choice of an internal or international destinations is to some extent contingent on pre-existing connections to either of these locales, it is likely that some "climate-induced" migration from rural Mexico may be directed towards the United States. I present selected results from three different studies carried out in collaboration with scholars at the University of Colorado showing that the association between relative rainfall deficits possibly signaling drought and U.S.-bound migration are indeed highly contingent on some contextual characteristics. I discuss some of the implications of these results for migration theory and for social and immigration policy on both sides of the border.