The journey of my graduate studies was so rewarding. I didn’t know I wanted to do graduate studies until I got a really great opportunity, and I’m so glad I did. I have always cared very much about the natural world, and I’ve also always loved listening to a good story! I was lucky that my Master's degree with Aklavik, Northwest Territories, allowed me to do both.​

I was a Master's student from 2016 to 2018 at CEOS. The project I worked on was in partnership with Aklavik, and it was a research topic that community representatives suggested. We looked at community opinions on why their beluga whale harvest was so low in recent years. I got to travel to Aklavik to live there for summer 2017. With the help of two locals, I interviewed 32 people! In my down time, I also got to do tons of stuff on the land (setting net, fishing, berry picking) and made friends. It was easily the best summer of my life. I revisited Aklavik in 2018 to go over results with participants, which was so important for trust, and was also great to see everybody again. I can easily say that this experience as a graduate student changed me for the better – it expanded my perspective, taught me so much about the power of listening and learning, and made me passionate about working with people in a good way.​

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