Mariya Absar is a Post-Masters Research Associate in the Computational Earth Sciences Group and the Climate Change Science Institute where she is using multiple Global Climate Models data in a crop simulation model, Decision Support System for Agro-technology Transfer (DSSAT), to investigate the impact of climate variability and change on crop yields in southeastern United States and the role of adaptation in reducing climate risk. Absar is also involved with developing qualitative national and subnational socioeconomic scenarios for the United States based on the global shared socioeconomic pathways (SSP). Such nested pathways can subsequently be used to understand the future consequences of climate change for socio-ecological systems and the capacity of institutions to respond at local levels.
Absar received her BS in Computer Science from Lahore University of Management Sciences in 2004 and her MS in Environmental Management from Yale University in 2009 on a Fulbright Scholarship. For her Master’s thesis she conducted economic analysis on farm level cross sectional data to determine the production and demand functions of farmers in a canal system, and how they adapt to uncertainties in water availability. After graduating, she worked as a Water Policy Research Scientist with the OIC Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, where she studied the impact of Climate Change on the glaciers and water resources of Pakistan. Later she worked as a Research Assistant at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) where she used discounted cash flows and real options analysis to model the investment in water saving irrigation options for farmers facing uncertain irrigation supplies and their returns in multi-period settings. Prior to her master’s degree, she worked for the National Commission for Human Development, managing a digital literacy project in the rural areas of Pakistan. Absar has also been involved with projects related to foresight studies on water futures and poverty in developing countries.