As our oceans are continually impacted by human and natural changes, the need for knowledge and discovery become more critical. I want to be on the leading edge of this. As a scientist I aspire be not only active in my field, but also involved in the policy process and engaged with the public. Biologists have the unique ability to help people through research and policy as a result of their interaction with scientists, managers, and politicians. While taking classes in resource management, sustainable development, and economics, during my self‐proclaimed “social sciences semester,” I developed an interest in the fusion of the human sciences with the marine sciences. I have come to understand that human and marine systems are interconnected, and that both sustainable fishing and meaningful policy and management are vital to the longevity of these natural resources.

According to National Geographic Magazine, Iceland, along with New Zealand and Alaska, have the only well‐managed fisheries in the world. Iceland is internationally known for its great successes in fisheries management, and despite its small size, Iceland is an influential participant in the debate on ocean issues. Fishing in Iceland has been important since its beginning and has been the basis for its economic growth. The overall health of the oceans and the fisheries stocks are vital to Iceland’s progress. Iceland’s ocean policy states, “Responsible management and harvesting of marine resources everywhere in the world furthers Iceland’s own policy”. Through study in Iceland, I hope to learn the elements of Iceland’s effective policy ‐ knowledge I can bring back with me to the US.

The University Centre of the Westfjords has a unique program in Marine and Coastal Management, which is particularly suited to my background and goals. Combining ecology, politics, and economics allows for the fusion of students and professors from varied backgrounds and disciplines. With miles of coastland and bountiful fisheries, Iceland is an exceptional place to learn. More importantly, the program has an international focus and lessons learned can be applied abroad. Graduating with a Masters in Resource Management allows for employment in consulting, academics, research, environmental impact assessment, and planning, thus setting the groundwork for the next generation of ocean decision makers.


How did I end up on this road?

Acting as the curator of an eighteenth century historical farmhouse museum on the URI campus, I not only help to preserve old relics and artifacts, but I pass along knowledge and the anecdotes of the past. As its primary docent, I find that I enjoy the interpersonal communications involved with working with the public. While concurrently pursuing a Master of Science in Evolutionary Biology, I have refined the skills and ability necessary to be successful as a scientific researcher. My dual roles have led me to discover that scientific progress is made by moving forward with research, as well as through looking back and using historical records, anecdotes, and evidence to compile and enrich scientific data. Perhaps I am the only curator of a historical colonial museum who is also an evolutionary biologist, but this has led me to discover that my career path may be outside the confines of a laboratory. Coming from a research science background, I want to bridge the communication gap by studying resource economics, policy, and management.


One response

30 08 2012
Rae Turco

megan i will miss you soooooooooo much!!!

-Rae turco

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: