Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Sherman-Morris, Kathleen

Committee Member

Mercer, Andrew E.

Committee Member

Ambinakudige, Shrinidhi S.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Applied Meteorology

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


The Central Asian country of Tajikistan is the poorest of the former Soviet republics; it is also prone to a plethora of natural hazards including mass wasting, flood, and extreme temperature. This thesis seeks to characterize how vulnerable rural Tajik mountain communities are to prolonged cold. The primary focus was in Navobod, in the Zeravshan Valley of Tajikistan, where semi-structured interviews were conducted with 31 households, the village leader and doctor, and school staff. The results from the interviews were compared with GIS analysis of the region. Interviews indicated that the area is highly vulnerable to the impacts of prolonged cold. These rural residents continue to practice unsustainable land use, primarily for agricultural and biofuel resources. With unreliable sources of income, a fragile national economy, and decreased access to markets, these residents are ill-equipped to mitigate the impacts of prolonged cold weather. GIS results largely supported interview results.