Erika Gavenus

Coastal resource access and social-ecological systems as they relate to community health
Theresa Satterfield
United States of America
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

My personal experiences growing up and working in an Alaskan fishing community cultivated my interest in how people connect with nature, each other, and their cultural heritage within social-ecological systems. My academic studies in public health have informed my approach to this interest. I am pursuing a PhD to further develop my questions and understanding of how changing social-ecological systems relate to human health.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I decided to study at UBC, because of the school's strength across the fields of natural resources, coastal ecology, and public health. I am confident that I will find at UBC the challenge and support I need to elevate my research and abilities as a scholar.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability's commitment to encouraging and strengthening interdisciplinary research was especially important to me, as was the program's support for applying research and engaging in policy conversations.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I love being outside: trail running, hiking, and camping are how I most often enjoy nature, with some kayaking, gardening, swimming, and skiing thrown in when I can. I also love to play and watch team sports, especially soccer, and I really enjoy cooking and baking.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

As a new graduate student myself, I do not have much advice. If you are in the process of applying, I would suggest embracing it, as much as possible, as an opportunity to sit with your interests and passions a bit.


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