Choosing to minor in Arctic Studies was something totally unexpected for me. I took ARCTIC 200: Indigenous Diplomacies and International Relations in the Arctic in my first quarter at UW and fell in love with the culture and discussion about the Arctic environment. At that point, I decided to minor in Arctic Studies, and it has been one of the best decisions I have made. A few of my favorite classes include ARCTIC 401: Arctic Environment, taught by the 2017–18 Canada Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies, Dr. Mark Mallory, where I enjoyed learning about how current sea bird studies are done in Arctic Canada. Listening to fieldwork stories (especially the ones that include polar bears) and learning about how scientists interact with Indigenous Peoples in Canada was fascinating. I also enjoyed ARCTIC 401: Geopolitics of the Arctic, taught by the 2016–17 Canada Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies, Dr. Heather Nicol.
Learning about the Arctic environment and how it is associated with international relations and Indigenous Peoples connected my background in oceanography and geology to current geopolitics in the Arctic. In a class on eco-capitalism, I learned how to become a responsible global citizen to protect the Arctic environment from rapid climate change. The combination of Arctic scientific and social studies motivated me to become an advocate of the Arctic. I hope to share my passion for and knowledge of the Arctic with the public.