Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Anthropology (Cultural Heritage Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Gregory Campbell

Commitee Members

Richard Sattler, Neyooxet Greymorning, Sarah Halvorson, Frank Thomas


University of Montana


The comparisons of scientific measurements taken around the world show trends of climate change, which are affecting the traditions of vulnerable populations. In the Pacific, many island peoples are already feeling the effects of the changes and are facing the predictions of future impacts. Some nations, like the Republic of Kiribati, are addressing the present and projected problems with proactive policies, while engaging with international agencies and cooperating with citizens in order to develop appropriate approaches to the change. The contribution of local knowledge has been recognized as valuable in assessing the changes and in the development of response strategies. This research accesses the traditional ecological knowledge of an outer island community in Kiribati in order to identify the presence or absence of change in their environmental resources. Through the analysis of the responses gathered regarding the perceived past and present qualities of the environmental resources on their island, changes were identified. The effects of those changes were recorded along with the reactions to the changes in the qualities of the environmental resources. The information gathered in this case-study complements the scientific measurements and predictions, showing consistent reports of higher temperatures, rising sea-levels, and seasonal irregularities, while supplementing the current body of literature with site-specific data, contributing locallevel observations to a global phenomenon.



© Copyright 2017 Jaime Lynn Bach