Willow-Creek Feighery - Introduction

Name: Willow-Creek Feighery
Nationality: United States
Interests in Arctic: Food Security, Climate Change, People to People Cooperation, Natural Resource management

Educational Background: I graduated from the Evergreen State College in 2017, where I developed fundamental skills to prepare me for a career studying biogeography and sociology. I achieved these goals through interdisciplinary programs that included independent field study abroad and other projects such as working on an on-campus organic farm. I have internalized essential concepts of plant botany, food systems, and natural resource management. I have developed and honed analytical methods in the field in the subjects of permaculture, geography, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Much of my focus was on polar regions. In the arctic I studied climate change’s impact on indigenous peoples, including cultural security, food security, and indigenous voice in the Arctic Council. Being from Alaska, the majority of my focus was of Alaskan Inuit peoples and what can be done now to aid in transition of lifestyle as weather and environmental conditions disturb the current way of life in the region.

In the antarctic, my focus remained still on people. I studied the Antarctic Treaty and postulated what changes may occur to the region once the treaty comes up for revision in 2047 and what affect that might have on the tradition of military peace in the region. I looked at research bases as a form of investment in Antarctica, particularly year-round research bases and found that nations that seemed to have the largest investments in Antarctica were the United States, China, and Russia-- none of which hold any sort of formal or historical land claims on the continent. Norway does have historical territorial claims in Antarctica, and I am interested to see if they engage more with conversations of potential for resource extraction as the area becomes increasingly free of ice.

I am excited to be in the Finnmark/Barents region and hope to see what effect a border can have on social environments/culture despite the two areas being so close geographically. I also look forward to seeing differences in food availability, and taste all of the food mmm yum.


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