Hannah Bassett is a recipient of the Academic Year 2016-2017 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
As a Master’s candidate at the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs I study complex human-natural systems through an interdisciplinary lens. My particular focus is on understanding dynamics of tropical marine small-scale fisheries which I approach by drawing on theories and methods from political ecology, economics, sociology, fisheries science, policy and anthropology. Currently, my research focuses on dive fisheries, in which fishers use compressed-air diving (SCUBA, for example) to access marine resources. This fishing method presents an interesting combination of considerations for human and ecological well-being and my master’s work includes a case study of such fisheries in the Philippines. The FLAS Fellowship has provided me with the opportunity to gain an in-depth contextual understanding of the country that can only be achieved through cultural studies and immersion. As a FLAS Fellow, I have been able to study the Tagalog language and Filipino culture and will spend winter quarter in the Philippines. While there, I will continue my studies, experience the culture and collect primary data through interviews. I will complete my Master’s in June of 2017 and this ambitious project would not have been possible on this timeline, nor to such depth, without the support of CGS and FLAS.