Mid-way through my summer fellowship with the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH), I settled in to a routine of working and meeting with my supervisors to exchange updates with them on our work. Since I worked mostly alone on my project, and remotely (with the exception of a two-day in-person meeting in Anchorage), my supervisors and I decided to meet often to prevent me from becoming disconnected from them. Fortunately, SEARCH conducts meetings mostly online because its participants live at great distances from one another, so it felt easy for me to keep closely in touch with them throughout the entire summer.
I was grateful to have such an organized project with clear responsibilities, so that I did not have times when I was unsure what to do during my working hours. The nature of my project—organizing a database of research sources—could at times be repetitive, but I found that I very much enjoyed and benefitted from reading and categorizing the many sources on co-production, environmental policy, and human well-being and ecology in the Arctic. I have developed a significantly greater understanding of the body of literature on climate change and human activities in the Arctic as a side effect of doing this work—a great benefit to me both personally and professionally. I also participated in meetings for a variety of purposes, so I always had things to do and think about in addition to my project. This helped me understand the value my project had to the whole organization, and kept me inspired and engaged!
Photo: Sea ice in Anchorage, Alaska, seen from my airplane window traveling to a SEARCH retreat last April.