Samantha Saville
(Photo provided by Samantha Saville)

I am a human geographer based at Aberystwyth University, Wales, UK, where I did my undergraduate and PhD degrees. In between those things, I completed a graduate degree in Architecture, Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies at the Centre for Alternative Technology, where I then worked as a student adviser and tutor.

Currently, I am in the Arctic, in Longyearbyen, Svalbard for work on my postdoctoral fellowship, “Svalbard Futures: Value and Adaptation in the Anthropocene.” This is a follow up project from my doctoral thesis. The PhD research focused on value in conservation and environmental protection measures in Svalbard, using value to look at both everyday experiences and decision-making processes.

I am interested particularly in human-nature relations, processes of change and value as a theoretical lens to look at developments in this area. The Svalbard Futures project revisits some of my earlier research about future visions of Svalbard 5 years on down the line.

The Arctic has always been a place that inspired my previous environmental work; the place where climate change is happening fastest and first, though it was never somewhere I thought I would visit myself. Luck would have it, however, that an opportunity to investigate Svalbard arose and I seized the change to visit the Arctic region. Though I am more naturally a sun-seeker, I decided that Svalbard sounded too interesting to ignore. I set out expecting to talk about lived experiences of climate change, but soon my eyes were opened to a wider range of value related human-nature relationship issues that communities in Svalbard are wrestling with in a period of intense change of all kinds.

You can keep up to date with my work and contact me through my website: www.samsaville.org

Twitter handle @Samsaville

The Svalbard Social Science Initiative – https://www.svalbardsocialscience.com/ (Twitter:@SocialSvalbard)

My publications include:

Saville, Samantha. M. (2018). Tourists and researcher identities: critical considerations of collisions, collaborations and confluences in Svalbard. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2018.1435670 

Selected conference contributions:

  • ‘‘Stalking around with Value in Svalbard’, Nordic Geographers Meeting, Stockholm, 18th – 22nd June 2017.
  • ‘Representing the Seas of Svalbard’, Nordic Geographers Meeting, Stockholm, 18th – 22nd June 2017.
  • ‘Potential Lessons from Svalbard’s Environmental Governance Practices’, The Future of Polar Governance: Knowledge, Laws, Regimes, and Resources, British Antarctic Survey Cambridge, 27th March 2017.
  • ‘Categorisation and heritage conservation ‘Experiencing Svalbard on nature’s own terms?’, Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference, Trondheim, 9-11th June 2015.
  • ‘Coal mining in Svalbard: The elephant in the room?’, Barents Institute (University of the Arctic) 2014 Thorvald Stoltenberg Conference, Mining the Arctic: sustainable communities, economies, and governance? Thon Hotel, Kirkenes, 7-8th October 2014