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Rozsa welcomed Alizé Carrére for National Geographic Live: Adaptation

The Rosza welcomed Alizé Carrére, a National Geographic environmental anthropologist and filmmaker, on Monday, March 20, to discuss human adaptations to environmental change. Carrére began the presentation by talking about an issue close to home: the silver, or Asian, carp. The carp, an invasive species in the United States, have created issues in many waterways and are present in 31 states. Carrére told the story of a woman, Angie Yu, who is helping tackle rising carp issues by sending the fish to China, where it is considered a delicacy. Carrére explained how this story is a small glimpse into adaptations humans make in the face of environmental change, whether from climate change or invasive species. 

The next story Carrére recounted was from Bangladesh, where rising sea levels and glacier melts have jeopardized farming. She detailed how the Bangladeshi people have developed floating gardens that rise and fall with water levels, keeping crops out of the way of floods. In addition to floating gardens, the Bangladeshi people have developed floating schools, libraries and health clinics to adapt to the flooding they face. 

The next story was of Vanuatu, a small cluster of approximately 80 islands in the South Pacific Ocean, where rising sea temperatures and acidity, along with crown of thorn sea stars, have destroyed many of the coral reefs. The reefs, offering protection and ecological balance, are vital to the islands. Carrére told of the efforts to remove the sea stars and to regrow dead and damaged reefs. Carrére emphasized how the adaptations and efforts served to remind everyone to persevere since some cannot if they want to survive. 

The final story of the presentation was from Ladakh, a trans-Himalayan mountain desert in the extreme north of India. The villages in Ladakh face water scarcity. To overcome this, villagers have developed “Ice Stupas,” which are giant ice pyramids engineered to grow and store water as ice to save for the dry months. Efforts surrounding the ice stupas are some of the few in the world to grow glaciers. 

To conclude her presentation, Carrére stated that “adaptation is local” and that “action is what we very badly need,” citing the ripple effect studied in communities. She spoke of the resilience and remarkable innovation of humankind, even in the face of difficult conditions. To learn more about these stories, Carrére’s docuseries is available for free at

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