My academic focus is on socio-economic and socio-ecological resilience, environmental peacebuilding, and human mobility issues such as climate refugee policy and coastal tourism trends. My thesis research is on the role of tourism in socio-economic development in Dominica, a beautiful and dynamic Caribbean island state. My research interests also include preventative responses for potential international stability threats related to climate change and the physical world around us.

The relationship between humans and the coastal environment is undervalued in international policy, and this is something that I hope to change. The CMM program focuses on this relationship, exploring humanity's use and conservation of coastal and marine environments. This unique focus was exactly what I was looking for in a graduate program, and the program's small size, diverse faculty, outdoorsy culture and unique location all contributed to my decision to attend.

Iceland is beautiful, of course, and the Westfjords region holds its own remote beauty. The light changes so dramatically here from day to day – and from season to season – that Ísafjörður's sunlight and scenery still surprise me. The beauty of the Westfjords is also found in its storms, where the wind is loud, the snow and ice are wild, and walking to class can be a skigoggles- required adventure. As often as possible, I sea kayak, cross-country ski, and relax with friends in the local hot pots.

There are many outdoors activities to try, from snowshoeing to surfing. When visiting, one must take full advantage of good weather as we never know when it will come again!

All of the CMM graduate students contribute diverse expertise and refreshing, open minds that have created valuable conversations, friendships and academic analysis. Such moments have helped shape and challenge many of my own perspectives, leading me to redefine personal success and professional goals. It is a gift to live in this beautiful fjord, to learn with such talented peers, and to gain new coastal and marine management expertise from local and visiting experts.

 

Originally published in UArctic Shared Voices Magazine 2016