Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Marine Affairs

First Advisor

Tracey Dalton


People’s capacity to adapt to shifting and emerging climate conditions is one of the most important characteristics to consider when addressing climate risks. This study explores the vulnerability and adaptive capacity to changing climate conditions of individuals in various sectors of employment in three coastal communities of the Dominican Republic. Participants included individuals who directly use marine resources for their occupation and those who do not. Specific research questions in this study are: What are the factors related to adaptive capacity in coastal communities of the Dominican Republic? Do these factors vary between direct resource users and non-­‐direct resource users? Do these factors vary amongst individuals who do and do not share household responsibility for income?

Principal component analysis of responses to 26 likert statements resulted in seven factors related to occupational adaptive capacity: ability to plan, learn, and reorganize; attachment to occupation; occupational adaptability/flexibility; attachment to place; employment security; financial security; and occupational mobility. Factor scores were compared between direct resource users and non-­‐direct resource users, as well as between individuals who are the sole providers of household income and those who share the responsibility of providing income to the home, to explore if there is a difference in vulnerability and adaptive capacity between these groups of coastal residents. Results suggest that responses to many of the factors related to vulnerability and adaptive capacity are similar for all coastal individuals. However, direct resource users displayed greater attachment to occupation and sole providers of household income exhibited lower financial security. This research has important implications for community and development planners, emphasizing the value of understanding a person’s role in a household to better anticipate an individual’s ability and willingness to make changes related to occupation.



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