"Mapping Local Knowledge of Climate Change and Hazards
to Inform Research, Practice, and Policy in the Americas"
Hazards are fundamentally understood and experienced spatially, so it is not surprising that hazards research, management, communication, and policy have relied heavily on spatial representations using tools such as remote sensing and geographic information systems. As powerful and useful as these tools have been, they tend to privilege the collection and utilization of quantifiable data at the expense of other types of data such as experiential local knowledge. Local knowledge has been increasingly used both to challenge and to supplement mapping strategies, although less so in the realm of hazards than in other areas such as natural resource management. We propose a unique framework for taking these approaches one step further through the development of a knowledge management system that integrates local knowledge of hazards with spatial visualization tools. We propose a methodology for mapping mental models of individuals. We then discuss the potential applications of such a framework for hazards research, practice, and policy, as well as the challenges associated with this framework.