Geographic information systems; Indigenous studies, research methods
I am currently a PhD student in the Department of Geography at the University of Washington, with an interest in the political implications of emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs). More specifically, my dissertation research focuses on the use of digital technologies by Inuit, Canadian citizens, scientists, and policymakers to discuss and implement environmental management strategies in response to climate change in the Arctic. I am particularly interested in the ways in which Inuit are adopting social media and other Internet technologies to advocate for themselves within international political fora. I expect this research to require both analysis of online discussions, and also interviews with Inuit community members, Inuit elders, and Inuit involved in environmental politics.
With support from the Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Program and the UW Canadian Studies Center at UW, I had the unique opportunity to study the North Baffin dialect of Inuktitut throughout Summer 2014. The language is quite difficult for English language speakers to learn, and Inuktitut language programs are quite rare, especially in the United States. However, I have been lucky enough to study with two incredible teachers, Alexina Kublu and Mick Mallon. These lessons, which have taken place both online and in Igloolik, Canada, have taught me the complex grammatical structure of Inuktitut, day-to-day communication skills, and a great deal about Inuit culture and their Arctic home. My 3-week trip to Igloolik was particularly exciting, particularly since I was able to participate in qamutiik (sled) trips, camping, and other cultural events. I will never forget my qamutiik trips across the frozen Arctic Ocean, with a midnight sun beating down on me! Moreover, all of these experiences will be incredibly important to my future research.