Diana Liverman

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Diana Liverman

Diana Margaret Liverman (born May 15, 1954, Accra, Ghana) [1] is Regents Professor of Geography and Development, and formerly co-Director of the Institute of the Environment [2] at the University of Arizona, USA. She is an expert on the human dimensions of global environmental change and the impacts of climate on society. She was a co-author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) October 8, 2018 Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC. [3] [4]

Ghana Republic in West Africa

Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language.

Geography The science that studies the terrestrial surface, the societies that inhabit it and the territories, landscapes, places or regions that form it

Geography is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes. Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be.

Development geography

Development geography is a branch of geography which refers to the standard of living and its quality of life of its human inhabitants. In this context, development is a process of change that affects people's lives. It may involve an improvement in the quality of life as perceived by the people undergoing change. However, development is not always a positive process. Gunder Frank commented on the global economic forces that lead to the development of underdevelopment. This is covered in his dependency theory.



Diana Liverman was born in Accra, Ghana to British parents, and the family later moved back to the UK. She studied geography at University College London, the University of Toronto, and UCLA where she received her PhD in 1984. She was a student and postdoc at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado from 1982-1985, working with Steve Schneider. She then taught geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she was also affiliated with the Institute for Environmental Studies and at Penn State University where she was the Associate Director of the Earth System Science Center directed by Eric Barron. She moved to the University of Arizona in 1995 to become Director of Latin American Studies. [5]

University College London (UCL) is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom. It is a constituent college of the federal University of London, and is the third largest university in the United Kingdom by total enrolment, and the largest by postgraduate enrolment.

University of Toronto university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in the colony of Upper Canada. Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed the present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution. As a collegiate university, it comprises eleven colleges, which differ in character and history, each with substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs. It has two satellite campuses in Scarborough and Mississauga.

National Center for Atmospheric Research American research organization

The US National Center for Atmospheric Research is a US federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) managed by the nonprofit University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). NCAR has multiple facilities, including the I. M. Pei-designed Mesa Laboratory headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. Studies include meteorology, climate science, atmospheric chemistry, solar-terrestrial interactions, environmental and societal impacts.

In 2003 she was appointed to the first Chair in Environmental Science at the University of Oxford (where she was also the first woman appointed to a chair in the School of Geography), and became Director of the Environmental Change Institute, [6] a centre for research, teaching and outreach on the environment at Oxford University. Over five years she increased the income, size, and profile of ECI, hiring a number of distinguished scholars and working with groups such as the Tyndall Centre and James Martin 21st Century School. In 2009 she returned to Arizona to co-direct the Institute of the Environment, working with Prof. Jonathan Overpeck until 2016 when the University restructured senior personnel.

University of Oxford Collegiate research university in Oxford, England

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly called 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

She has served on several national and international committees including the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, and the NAS Committee on America's Climate Choices. She also chaired the scientific advisory committee of the Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS) program and of the IHDP Earth System Governance Project. She co-chaired a transition team to create a new international research initiative, Future Earth, for an Alliance of international organizations that include ICSU, UNEP, and UNESCO.

National Academy of Sciences science branch of the United States National Academies

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a United States nonprofit, non-governmental organization. NAS is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, along with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

Earth System Governance Project long-term, interdisciplinary social science research programme

The Earth System Governance Project is a long-term, interdisciplinary social science research programme originally developed under the auspices of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change. It started in January 2009.

She serves on the board of a number of organizations including cultural and creative sustainability experts Julie's Bicycle (http://www.juliesbicycle.com/)

Over 60 students have graduated under her supervision. [7]


Liverman has made many contributions to understanding of the human dimensions of global environmental change. Her publications and research grants deal with climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, climate change and food security, and climate policy, mitigation and justice especially in the developing world. She has a particular interest in the political ecology of environmental management in the Americas, especially in Mexico.

Liverman worked on the human impacts of drought as early as the 1980s, and the impacts of climate change on food systems using early climate modelling techniques and crop simulation models. Having identified the limitations to modelling approaches, fieldwork in Mexico followed, examining vulnerability to natural hazards in the agricultural sector, and the potential impacts of climatic change on food systems. Liverman has also examined the effects of neoliberalism on Latin American society and environmental regimes, particularly along the US-Mexico border. [8]

In recent years she has focused on the international dimensions of climate policy and the growth of the new carbon economy, and is a frequent speaker and commentator on global climate issues. [9] [10] She was a co-author of a series of high-profile papers on planetary boundaries and Earth system governance.

She has also led several major collaborative research projects, funded mainly by US and European agencies. In 2011 she was part of a group who briefed the Dalai Lama (2011) [11] on climate change.


Key publications [13]



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  1. Debrett's profile
  2. "welcome - Institute of the Environment". www.environment.arizona.edu.
  3. Summary for Policymakers (PDF), Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC:, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), nd, retrieved October 8, 2018, "IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty
  4. Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC (Report). Incheon, Republic of Korea: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). October 7, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  5. https://dianaliverman.wordpress.com/ Liverman Webpage
  6. http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/index.php Environmental Change Institute
  7. "My students and postdocs". wordpress.com. 23 December 2014.
  8. http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/index.php/article/2011/04/qa_diana_liverman Interview, Daily Wildcat, 27 April 2011
  9. http://www.open.edu/openlearn/nature-environment/the-environment/creative-climate/explore-the-stories/activism/changing-america Video, Open University, 2009
  10. http://ecologywithoutnature.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/diana-liverman-mp3-current-state-of.html Chicago talk, 2011
  11. http://uanews.org/node/42462 UA News Oct 2011
  12. http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/news/articles/100607-liverman.php
  13. "Writing". wordpress.com. 23 December 2014.