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Marginal Sea-Ice Zone project announced within DurhamARCTIC

In an earlier post on this blog I announced the formation of DurhamARCTIC (the Durham Arctic Research Centre for Training and Interdisciplinary Collaboration), which is funding 15 new PhD students at Durham University. As an interdisciplinary programme, student recruitment cuts across a number of disciplinary cultures, from the natural science model, where academic staff design fully formed projects that they then ‘hire’ a student to carry out, to the model in the social sciences and humanities, where students are asked to submit their own proposals.

DurhamARCTIC expects to bring in some students who generate their own proposals and others who sign on to undertake research designed by their future supervisors, but it also likely will take on some through a middle route, where students develop research proposals that are designed to fit broad research trajectories that have been outlined by supervisory staff. To contribute to this latter category, Chris Stokes and I are recruiting students to propose research that falls under the topic, Measurement, Knowledge, and Regulation in the Marginal Sea-Ice Zone.”

Applications are due 2 February, so if you’re interested and have any questions, please contact me as soon as possible.

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Ocean Governance for Sustainability: Seabed Management Workshop

Rachael Squire reflects on the COST OCEANGOV Seabed Management Workshop for Early Career Researchers, organised by myself and Kimberley Peters and held early this month in Liverpool.

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of acting as a ‘trainer’ in a workshop on Seabed Management organised by Kim Peters and Phil Steinberg. As part of the European Commission’s COST Action programme on Ocean Governance for Sustainability, and in conjunction with the University of Liverpool’s Institute for Sustainable Coasts and Oceans, the workshop brought together early career researchers and leading scholars in the fields of Ocean science and Governance.

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Over the course of three days, the focus of the workshop centred upon the practical questions of building bridges between academic research and policy at a time where research on the sea floor and questions around seabed governance are becoming increasingly significant (and doing so at an unprecedented pace). A range of insightful and thought-provoking keynote lectures provided some vital context to a number of pressing issues (including the development of legal frameworks for deep sea…

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15(!) Interdisciplinary Arctic PhD Opportunities at DurhamARCTIC

I am happy to announce Durham University’s success with a £1.05 million, five-year bid to the Leverhulme Trust to fund 15 PhD students in Interdisciplinary Understanding for a Changing Arctic. Although I took the lead with the grant proposal and will be directing the interdisciplinary training programme, I am indebted to input from colleagues from across the university.

To host the programme, and carry on its legacy after the grant ends in 2023, I am presently establishing a new Doctoral Training Centre at Durham: The Durham Arctic Research Centre for Training and Interdisciplinary Collaboration (DurhamARCTIC). While waiting for the bureaucratic wheels at Durham to (slowly) turn, I’ve established a provisional “unofficial” website for the programme at http://durhamarctic.wordpress.com.

Students in the programme enrol in standard, department-based doctoral programmes, but DurhamARCTIC then provides a number of “extras” including interdisciplinary supervision, colloquia, summer schools, etc., as well as dedicated funds for Arctic placements and research. The application deadline for the first cohort, to enter in Autumn 2018, is 2 February 2018. If you’re interested in applying (or if you know someone who might be interested) please see the programme website for more details regarding DurhamARCTIC’s focus, the extra elements it will provide for students, and the application process.



December is non-liquid ocean month

I’m convening two exciting ocean workshops this coming month, each of which, in very different ways, focuses on a non-liquid (or more-than-liquid) aspect of the ocean.

First, on 1 December the ICE LAW Project’s Territory subproject will be hosting a workshop on Territory, Law, and the Anthropocene. This workshop is being held at Warwick University and is being hosted by Territory subproject leader Stuart Elden.

Then, the following week, on 6-8 December at the University of Liverpool, Kimberley Peters and I will be running a workshop for early career researchers on seabed governance, focusing in particular on the opportunities that seabed governance debates provide for building bridges between science, policy, and advocacy. This is an effort of Working Group 3 (which Kim and I co-lead) of the EU COST Action on Ocean Governance.

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Fishing for future legacies? The ‘Opening up’ the Central Arctic Ocean

New blogpost with Klaus Dodds and Berit Kristoffersen on fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean…..out now on the Royal Holloway Geopolitics & Security website.

By Klaus Dodds, Berit Kristoffersen & Phil Steinberg


The Central Nordic Sea (Source: sciencenordic.com)

Last week, an open letter written by a group of scientists from around the world was released urging 10 international actors (five Arctic Ocean coastal states such as Canada, Russia and the United States and five extra-territorial parties including China, the European Union and Japan) to develop and implement an agreement on fisheries management for the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO).

The letter notes their collective hope that after several years of negotiation “a successful agreement, demonstrating their commitment to sound stewardship of the Arctic Ocean and peaceful international cooperation” should be possible. Such a commitment would appear to be the logical next step forward after the 2015 Oslo Declaration wherein the five Arctic Ocean coastal states stated that they would refrain from fishing in the high seas of the CAO. Their rationale was that there was…

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Two new editors at Political Geography

polgeogPolitical Geography has brought on two new associate editors, joining our ever-expanding editorial team.

Today is the first day on the job for Filippo Menga, who is replacing Jo Sharp as associate editor for the Setting-the-Agenda section. Filippo is a lecturer at the University of Reading where his research focuses on the geopolitics of water supply. As editor of the Setting-the-Agenda section, Filippo will be responsible for all non-peer-reviewed content (e.g. review forums, review essays, interventions, guest editorials) as well as online content.

Political Geography is also happy to announce the appointment of Antonis Vradis, who will be replacing Fiona McConnell when she is on maternity leave (January-June 2018). Antonis, who is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow at the University of Loughborough, has expertise in urban and migration issues.

The entire Political Geography editorial team — Tor Benjaminsen, Halvard Buhaug, and Kevin Grove, in addition to Fiona and myself — welcomes Filippo and Antonis, and we look forward to maintaining our standing as the leading international journal in political geography.


Territory beyond Terra….now at the publishers


I’m really happy to announce that my new book, co-edited with Kimberley Peters and Elaine Stratford, is now at the publishers, with publication anticipated early in 2018. The book has its origins in a double-session that Kim and I put together a few years ago, and has grown from there into a comprehensive exploration of what it means to construct territory in places other than the solid, static surfaces of dry land. It’s got the coolest cover of any book I’ve written, and I like to think that readers will find the inside just as thought provoking.

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