Current status: I arrived in Nepal to conduct interviews at the Second Lead Author Meeting for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Working Group 2) July 12, 2019 (see below for more information on this project). I am staying in Nepal until August 21, 2019, when I leave for the Third Lead Author Meeting for Working Group 1, which is being held in Toulouse, France. While in Nepal, which is essentially a self-funded sabbatical, I’ll be catching up on various writing projects.

Contact for Mark Vardy: vardymark (at)  

Recent history: I joined the Center for Research in Energy & Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice University in February 2018 as a postdoctoral fellow working on a National Science Foundation project led by Dominic Boyer. The project, called “Recovery, Relocation and Alluvial Awareness in Post-Harvey Houston,” uses surveys, ethnographic observations and in-person interviews to study how flooding events impacts peoples’ sense of place. We focussed on the Brays Bayou watershed and the Greens Bayou watershed. A public report will be available shortly.

Before moving to Houston, I completed a two-year postdoc with the Climate Futures Initiative and Michael Oppenheimer at Princeton University on February 1, 2018. During my postdoc, I conducted an ethnography of the visualization of sea ice data at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. I also joined a group of international researchers, lead by Principle Investigator Jessica O’Reilly, with whom I am conducting an ongoing long-term ethnography of the processes through which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change authors its Sixth Assessment Report.

I defended my dissertation in Sociology at Queen’s University, Canada, in November 2015. My dissertation is called The Social Reorganization of Polar Science: Responding to Cryospheric Change in the International Polar Year 2007-2008 and Beyond. Martin Hand was my supervisor and Sergio Sismondo and Mick Smith were committee members. Brian Wynne was the external examiner. I used in-depth qualitative interviews, participant-observation, and document analysis to research how scientists and policymakers are responding to Arctic change. I framed the dissertation as an inquiry into the call to go “From Knowledge to Action,” which is the theme that concluded, in 2012, the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008.