Saville, Samantha

Samantha Saville
Start date:
October 2012
Research Topic:
Polarising nature-culture: an examination of value in Svalbard
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr. Gareth Hoskins, Dr. Kimberley Peters (Aberystwyth), Dr. Pyrs Gruffudd (Swansea)
Supervising school:
Department of Geography and Earth Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

This research will be exploring how relationships between environmental values and the cultural landscape are lived out on the frontiers of climate change in the Arctic. Svalbard, home to some of the Northern- most settlements on Earth, offers unique opportunities to delve into various relationships between human, non-human life and the material world. The three case study sites will aim to encompass a broad temporality of these relationships, spanning past, present and future: Pyramiden (an abandoned Russian mining settlement and tourist ‘Ghost town’), Barentsburg (an active Russian mining town) and Longyearbyen (the home to the Global Seed Bank and main university research centre). The unique characteristics of these places will be investigated using ethnographic and participative research methods.