I am a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina, USA, but I live in Norway currently and I am an early career professional focusing on stakeholder engagement, polar political policy, and diversity and inclusion.
I was a Center for the Blue Economy (CBE) Fellow in 2019 and an Arctic policy intern for the German Arctic Office of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) contributing to the publication of the Arctic Governance fact sheet. I was a former graduate assistant to the executive director of the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) supporting updates to science-to-policy briefs. I participated in the 2019 International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research (INTPART) Arctic Field Summer School, which was a Norway-Canada-USA collaboration project focusing on the changing cryosphere. I am tremendously grateful for having conducted cryosphere research at the Arctic Institute of North America Kluane Lake Research Station in the sub-Arctic, Yukon, Canadian territory.
My interests include Arctic Indigenous traditional and local knowledge, incorporating these knowledge systems in all areas of Arctic research, with the aim of informing policy and improving communication and collaboration between various stakeholder groups. I advocate for the protection of the Antarctic Southern Ocean and the integration of Indigenous knowledge in science and policy. I aspire to be an inspirational leader and role model for young girls and people of color that are interested in the Polar Regions.
In terms of education, I completed my bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Hunter College in New York City. In 2020, I completed my master’s in international environmental policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. I previously held a full-time position as a Polar and Climate project assistant in Arendal, Norway. I have supported projects relevant to the University of the Arctic (UArctic) Thematic Network on Arctic Plastic Pollution, Arctic marine litter and waste, and Alternatives to Plastic in Arctic communities. My poster, Informing Policy with Science in a Rapidly Changing Arctic was accepted to the 2019 Alaska Forum on the Environment and the Arctic Futures 2050 conference.
I published my first commentary article, Trailblazer in the Arctic: A Tribute to the First African American to Reach Both Poles with the Arctic Institute, which I am immensely proud. I was an awarded recipient to the 2020 Arctic Frontiers Student Forum and am looking forward to advancing my career.
If you would like to learn more about my work, or would like to contact me, I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and social media.
You can also check out my CBE Blog here: https://sites.miis.edu/cbefellows/category/2019/kimberly-aiken/