As a young professional wanting to combine research, practice, and policy, I found the Brown International Advanced Research Institute (BIARI) to be an invaluable bridge to return to academia. I had the privilege of participating in BIARI’s Climate Impacts and Water Institute in 2010, where my emerging interests at this critical intersection were refined into a research proposal.
With support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Amu Darya Basin Network, and BIARI, I conducted fieldwork in Central Asia in 2011 as a research intern with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). I focused on a small transboundary tributary of the Syr Darya, interviewing water user association managers and members, as well as district and provincial experts, in upstream Kyrgyzstan and downstream Tajikistan. I wanted to better understand if and how people in the transboundary, agrarian basin were cooperating on sharing increasingly variable water resources and if that cooperation was leading to climate change adaptation.
With IWMI colleagues, I published an article in the Mountain Research and Development Journal on "Climate Change in a Small Transboundary Tributary of the Syr Darya Calls for Effective Cooperation and Adaptation, also available in Russian.