Alexandra Harden.

Geography Ph.D. Student - University of Connecticut

Alexandra Harden

Ph.D. Candidate, Geography

Research Interests:

Climate Change and Climate Change Adaptation in Mountain Systems

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About me

In 2014, I left my job in sustainability marketing and operations to pursue my interests in climate science. This interest has influenced my desire to research the culture of climate and how climate variability and long-term change is affecting the lived experience of rural, high-mountain communities. My pursuit of a Ph.D. is to understand further the complex dynamics between climate and society and how the two can coexist in regions becoming increasingly contested and fragile.

When I’m not working, I’m skiing, hiking, mountain biking (poorly), cooking, reading, and likely drinking way too much coffee.



2019 – Current 

University of Connecticut – Storrs, CT

Ph.D.; Geography

2016 – 2017

Columbia University – New York, NY

MA; Climate + Society 

2014 – 2016

University of Colorado Boulder – Boulder, CO

Continuing Education; Atmospheric + Oceanic Science  

2004 – 2008

Colgate University – Hamilton, NY

BA; Political Science and Writing and Rhetoric 

Teaching Experience

Aug. 2019– May 2020

University of Connecticut

Teaching Assistant 


  • Physical Geography 

  • Globalization

  • The City and the Western Tradition

  • Introduction to Geography

Dec. 2017 –  April 2019

New York Ski Education Foundation

Academic Advisor and Tutor 


  • Math: middle and high school curriculum

  • Science: earth science 

Dec. 2014 –  May 2015

University of Colorado Boulder 

Teaching Assistant 


  • Weather and the Atmosphere 


Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (AC4)/ United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Research Fellow- New York, NY, May 2018- August 2019

  • This research project focused on the adaptive capacity of fragile socio-ecological systems in the Horn region. The work is based on a historical analysis of holistic system adaptation and applied through the use of an integrated conceptual model approach to address multidimensional system resilience given converging pressures from climate and conflict.

The Consortium for Capacity Building (CCB)/ Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research (INSTAAR)

Assistant Researcher- Boulder, CO, July 2018- January 2019

  • El Niño Ready Nations is an ongoing project that focuses on the varying conceptualizations of ‘readiness’ when it comes to being prepared on a national level for a climate-, water-, and/or weather-related disaster experienced during a declared El Niño season. I constructed a PR plan that created a media network in 30 countries. This included tiered content creation to address any changes in the 2018-2019 El Niño forecast. This campaign was a combined print, online, and social push meant to stress the importance of forecasting and to monitor regional social responses to content.

Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (AC4)/ United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Research Fellow- New York, NY, June 2017- May 2018

  • This project was a natural resource management project in the Peruvian Amazon which focused on strengthening indigenous capacity in conflict resolution and natural resource management. My role was to examine the evolution of academic theory behind conflict-sensitive conservation practices and how this has contributed to current field standards. I furthered this research by identifying the different components of good practices in the field, as supported by academic publications and how this can differ in actual implementation.

The Consortium for Capacity Building (CCB)/ Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research (INSTAAR)

Research Assistant- Boulder, CO, October 2015- May 2016

  • For this project, I worked with the Consortium for Capacity Building on a USAID/NOAA grant on how nations can prepare and cope with weather-related disasters to become an El Niño and La Nina Ready nation. 


2019 –  2023 INTPART Funding for International Partnerships
  • Funding provided by The Research Council of Norway. Will sponsor academic collaboration for up to 3 months with either the University of Tromsø, University of Calgary, or the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

  • Funded participation in the Arctic Field Schools: Norway-Canada-USA Collaboration, May-June 2019, University of Tromsø, University of Calgary, University of Alaska Fairbanks

    • Location: Kluane Lake Research Station, Kluane Lake, Yukon, Canada

    • Topic: Understanding the cryosphere, cryosphere change, and impacts of change on people and ecosystems

Publications and Education-Related Articles 

Joshua Fisher, Hannah Stutzman, Mariana Vedoveto, Debora Delgado, Ramon Rivero, Walter Quertehuari Dariquebe, Luis Seclén Contreras, Tamia Souto, Alexandra Harden & Sophia Rhee (2019). Collaborative Governance and Conflict Management: Lessons Learned and Good Practices from a Case Study in the Amazon Basin, Society & Natural Resources

Harden, Alexandra (2016). Glaciers Help Explain Suffering Salmon Populations. GlacierHub. Retrieved from

Harden, Alexandra (2016). How Glacial Lakes in India Offer Lessons on Adaptation. GlacierHub, Retrieved from

Harden, Alexandra (2016). Iceberg Killing Fields Threaten Carbon Cycling. GlacierHub. Retrieved from

Harden, Alexandra (2016). Mapping Landslides in the Himalayas. GlacierHub, Retrieved from

I'd love to hear from you.

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