The Socio-Economics of the West, Central and Southern African Coastal Communities
People living along the west, central and southern African coast are directly dependent on the health of Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs)
Despite coming from central Canada, I developed an early passion for the mysteries of the deep ocean. Following extensive marine field work throughout the Pacific Islands, Antarctica and off the West Coast of North America, I was more than hooked. And add to that the opportunity to explore aboard a yellow submarine (yup…it was indeed a yellow deep sea submarine!) some of the deepest wilderness of this ‘blue world’, working to improve the relationship between the ocean and people became a bit of a personal quest. When you get a glimpse of an alien world three kilometres beneath the waves, it leaves a mark.
My non-oceanic journey started with a tour of the vastness of the Canadian Arctic as a young field geologist. I then spent time as an international exploration geologist in Northern Canada and Norway. This work even took me down some of the deepest darkest holes people have dug in the ground to quench our insatiable appetite for…well for stuff. Along the way I completed an MSc and PhD in marine geology.
More recently, I completed a Masters in Economics for Transition in 2014 which has greatly broadened my perspectives in the field of new economic thinking for socially and ecologically sustainable societies. This crossing of disciplines from natural sciences to complex social systems thinking has nurtured a deep interest in how change can be enabled and catalyzed to help create sustainable societies and increase resilience to uncertain climate and environmental futures.
It’s been just over a decade since I joined GRID-Arendal. And now, as Chief Scientist, I support the efforts and activities of a diverse and dynamic group of Norwegian and international experts. I work to facilitate the creation of products and solutions with and for developing states, tapping into NGO, academic and grassroots networks. I am particularly interested in opportunities for innovation and transformation that could come from a transition to real, ‘green/blue' economies.