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FLAS fellow presents at the Beyond the Nature Conference: Rethinking Canadian & Environmental Studies

Michael with Matthew Evenden
Michael with Matthew Evenden, Associate Professor Environment and Sustainability at the Canadian Studies Center at University of Washington, Sept 30, 2012 after discussion panel presentation.

July 30, 2012

Being asked not only to attend but, present a topic at this, my first academic conference as a presenter, by Nadine Fabbi, Associate Director of University of Washington’s Canadian Studies Center, was like, “sure I can do that….right?” Sponsored by the University of British Columbia’s Canada Studies Center, I was very much impressed to hear the many different and eclectic topics presented by Canadian Studies subject matter experts such as utilizing Canadian poetry in classes, how to extract water from icebergs for bottled water manufacturing, to expressions of various Canadian urban architecture concepts.

As a first year Evans School graduate student, attending this conference was a stimulating opportunity to observe as well as talk with academic professionals representing a wide range of backgrounds. Of main interest to me was how this information was orally presented. Public speaking and policy making go hand in hand, and this conference afforded me a firsthand opportunity on how to implement both.

Trying to bring a new twist to my presenter skills, I discussed how climate change has impacted inhabitants living in the Arctic regions of the Canadian white north while looking at the possible seeds of conflicts which could arise between neighboring Arctic states. From U.S. & Canadian military operations designed to claim Arctic territory while providing a strong and over-reaching national defence structure, the term “Cold War” may have new meaning.

As part of my graduate public affairs project, I hope to conduct area studies and research in the Canadian Arctic on these main policy issues. In retrospect, this conference provided me a look into utilizing new presentation skills while giving me an opportunity to meet with many other academic professionals dedicated to protecting and educating students about Canada’s Arctic region.”

Funding for FLAS Fellowships is provided by a Center allocation from International and Foreign Language Education, U.S. Department of Education. Visit our FLAS page: