I lived for a while as a child in Norway (south of the Arctic circle), which made me aware of indigenous people living in Northern Europe, adapting to life in a harsh climate with long, dark and cold winters. I later learnt about the issues facing the indigenous Sami population, such as supporting their language and livelihood. Sami want more autonomy and greater control over the policies that affect them. We could learn a lot from the way that they relate to and respect the environment. They cooperate well as a society because teamwork has been essential for survival.

"I’m the first person in my family to study a PhD. The Harding scholarship funding (invested in the CUEF) has allowed me to return to education and to gain a wider understanding of my field by attending conferences in Norway and Iceland."
Fieldwork in Iceland. Photo credit: Emilie Canova.

"The European Union (“EU”) legislation has an impact in some areas of the Arctic, including on indigenous communities. It influences policies around climate change and the environment, and on social issues including education, access to healthcare and improving connectivity. Discussions about EU-Arctic relations are often Eurocentric by nature, and I’m interested in how improved interactions could benefit policymaking.”

The Scott Polar Research Institute is the obvious first choice for Arctic research in the UK, and it benefits from uniting social and natural sciences under one roof. The library is amazing, as is the Polar Museum where I’ve participated in outreach work. I attended the Polar Humanities and Social Sciences Early Career Researchers Workshops last year, and this year I’m co-convening the series.