Holly J. Buck

Faculty Fellow

Holly Jean Buck is a Doctoral candidate in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University, where she is also a Research Fellow at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

Her work looks at climate change, energy system transformation, and human-environment interactions in the Anthropocene.  As a NSF-IGERT fellow in Food Systems and Poverty Reduction in East Africa, she looked into potential socio-ecological impacts of large-scale land acquisitions for biofuels; currently, she is interested in the intersection of climate engineering with food systems and land use.

Academic Interests:  Geographies of climate change, energy security, remote sensing with UAVs, appropriate technology and algal biofuels, marine bioprospecting, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, open-source biotechnology, startup culture, Anthropocene pedagogy & writing, the sociology of expectations, future studies

Holly holds a M.Sc. in Human Ecology from Lund University in Sweden, and previously worked in the geospatial industry.

Current projects:

Geoengineering on a Regional Scale <http://www.acsf.cornell.edu/grants/avf/2015/index.php#MacMartin>

The National Academy of Science recently called for more research on geoengineering, including controversial climate interventions like reflecting sunlight away from the Earth. With significant impacts projected from global warming and melting ice, the Arctic is a critical region for evaluating possible future global cooling techniques, such as injecting aerosols into the stratosphere to boost “albedo” and reflect some of the sun’s energy. Combining social science, engineering, and communication, this team will engage Arctic communities in a participatory discussion about these emerging technologies, identify public concerns, and evaluate regionally specific geoengineering strategies that address them.

Integrated multi-sector ocean policy: how states, entrepreneurs, NGOs, and makers envision the blue economy

The oceans in the 21st century are particularly imperiled by climate change, with ocean acidification and rising temperatures. At the same time, aquatic space is said to hold tremendous potential for carbon sequestration and food and energy production in the Anthropocene. On the oceans, the shift from hunter-gatherer to farmer is said to be happening in accelerated time. This “Blue Revolution” is posited as the marine counterpart to the increased productivity of the Green Revolution, drawing on both agriculture and industry as a metaphor to explain new practices in not just food cultivation, but energy, raw materials (biological and mineral), and carbon sequestration. Who is creating this vision of the oceanic future, and why? This project interviews shapers and participants in emergent and experimental Blue Revolution practices and industries, such as marine bioprospecting, ocean fertilization, aquaculture, and algal cultivation / engineering.  It also compares multi-sector and integrated ocean policies that are arising around them, examining some of the socioecological implications of these practices and their claimed utopian opportunities, reaching as far as the question: can marine and aquatic cultivation imply new philosophical or political arrangements in the Anthropocene?