Mekong Culture WELL (MCW) endeavors to conduct multidisciplinary research that brings together a wide range of perspectives to Mekong.


We conduct cultural mapping workshops in a wide variety of contexts, including the Songkhram River basin in Northeastern Thailand, the Kok and Ing River basins in Chiang Rai, and multiple sites along the imperiled Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia – Southeast Asia’s “Great Lake”. Collaborative at all stages of research from design to analysis, the research engages critical environmental issues from the perspectives of fishing communities. Community food systems, displacement, livelihoods transformations, ethnobotany, and shifting relationships to land and water comprise several of our core interests.

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The MCW Household Survey was conducted in partner communities in Cambodia and Thailand in 2022. The instrument gathers household-level information on local livelihoods, debt, social networks, food security, migration and displacement, as well as household adaptation strategies and resilience to climate change and upstream dam construction. The goal of the research is to provide comparative insight and baseline data on how ecological transformations arising from climate change and rapid development impact local livelihoods, culture, and socioeconomic conditions.

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MCW collaborators also map and model hydrological transformations along the entire Mekong River Basin using remote satellite sensing and model projections. Research across multiple sites indicates that substantial fluctuations in flow, volume, and seasonal pulse are due to damming and climate variability.

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