Navigating climate change from alternative perspectives


People & Planet : At the macro-level this project is about better understanding humanity’s ecological relationship with planet earth. Power & Paradigms: On a micro-level this project explores the more nuanced aspects of climate change and relates specifically to how the global political and economic systems and corresponding power structures influence climate change discourse. Platform & Perspectives: My daily exposure to the sea and different cultures enables new research perspectives.

In summary, what is your “Made on Coboat” project idea (max. 3 sentences)?

Climate change is real, yet the debate is typically driven by cultural paradigms and power structures undergirded by Western worldviews and epistemologies. This project takes the study of climate change out of the halls of Western power and academic ivory towers, and situates it in a grounded theory (sea-based in this case!) and more anthropological approach. The ultimate purpose is to highlight alternative perspectives on the implications of climate change for marginalized communities.

How much of your project can you realistically achieve in 100 days if you will get the chance to stay on the Coboat?

A 100 day immersion into the maritime world would adequately inform my project by providing the core experiential knowledge base to advance the project to either the general book stage, or if future outside funding is available, to a more advanced research phase.

Will you complete this project on your own, or will you be working with a together with a team?

I will be working alone, but in service to the other seven billion people sharing our planet.

Why should your project be chosen?

My project represents the perfect mix of everything this competition, Coboat, and Jovoto represent. Consider me the Coboat Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator, utilizing the innovative platform of Coboat and Jovoto to facilitate research on a topic that will impact future voyages, enlighten fellow Coboaters on the implications of climate change for ports of disembarkation, and ultimately support the mission of Coboat.

What does this project mean to you?

This project means experiencing life at sea again, standing in awe at the power of nature, interacting with other cultures, conducting research, thinking deeply, and journaling/blogging the process—in short, a dream come true—but also the realization of my skills, education, and passion to see marginalized voices given greater prominence in the climate change debate, thus enabling me to return to humanity part of the numerous investment made in my life.

Why do you want to do this project?

I have just spent nine years pursuing a PhD. During this academic journey, I’ve reconfirmed that I am an explorer, an adventurer, a deep thinker, and passionate about the challenging the status quo. Combine this with the fact that the poor, marginalized, and disempowered are often the most affected by climate change, but the least acknowledged and usually not invited to the debate. Their story needs to be told in a proactive and complementary manner. I want to facilitate this dialogue.

Have you used any third-party material? Even if you've modified it, please ensure you source the original here. See FAQ for details.

I used a photo sent to me by Gerald Schömbs and a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh.

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your professional background. How do you fit into a team? What have you done before within the field of your idea?

I grew up on a farm in the middle of the United States…about as far from the sea as a boy could get. I have since morphed into a global nomad working/studying/traveling in over 50 countries, including a three year stint working on a hospital ship. Living and working on a ship, with 350 people from 30 plus nations, made it the definitive team building exercise. I have since pursued graduate and post-graduate work in the social sciences, gaining a PhD in political anthropology.