Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

Dr. Pamela Jenkins

Second Advisor

Dr. Monica Farris

Third Advisor

Dr. Matt Bethel

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Bethany Stich

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Marla Nelson


Extreme weather events can result in natural disasters, and climate change can cause these weather events to occur more often and with more intensity. Because of social and physical vulnerabilities, climate change and extreme weather often affect coastal communities. As climate change continues to be a factor for many coastal communities, and environmental hazards and vulnerability continue to increase, the need for adaptation may become a reality for many communities. However, very few studies have been done on the effect climate change and mitigation measures implemented in response to climate change have on a community’s adaptive capacity.

This single instrumental case study will examine the effects of climate change and policy responses to climate change on the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe located in Pointe aux Chenes, Louisiana, in order to discover how climate change affects the adaptive capacity of an indigenous population intricately tied to the surrounding ecosystem. This study will provide information on how the community plans to adapt to climate change, and the urban planning and hazard mitigation methods that can be used to facilitate the process. It also posits how government agencies can empower local communities to participate in mitigation planning, and provide local knowledge in order to make those plans more effective. As climate change continues to affect our coastal environments, it will continue to have an effect on our coastal communities. Understanding the strength and longevity of community adaptation in Pointe aux Chenes will help the community respond to the changes and increasing hazards in the environment. This understanding can be applied to all coastal communities facing similar challenges the world over.


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