Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-12-2017


This thesis contributes to literature on climate risk perception and adaptive capacity. It is an investigation into the relationship between values, climate risk perception, and agricultural practices at the community scale. Findings indicate that cultural values have a strong influence on both climate risk perception and the specific practices agriculturalists employ to contend with the environmental conditions they find themselves operating within. They also suggest that environmental conditions – specifically the prevalence of microclimates, topographical complexity, and significant preexisting variability – play an important role in influencing agriculturalists’ perception and climate management.

A qualitative project, this paper is based on twelve semi-structured interviews conducted with ranchers and farmers in Delta County, Colorado. Interview participants were recruited using a snowball-sampling method. Analysis relied on an extensive literature review as well as the utilization of open-coding methods to process interview data.



Document Type


Degree Name

Community and Regional Planning

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Claudia B. Isaac

Second Committee Member

Theodore Jojola

Third Committee Member

Alan Barton


Climate Change, Rural Adaptation, Values, Risk Perception, Agriculture

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Architecture Commons