Meghan Orman is a PhD student at University of Pittsburgh, Fulbright fellow at University of Iceland, and Youth for Arctic Nature collaborator, with her main research interest being the exploration of how humans connect with nature. She spent the school year 2022-2023 in Iceland under a Fullbright grant to study nature connectedness and well-being in Icelandic preschoolers. In connection with her project, the Youth for Arctic Nature project funded her trip to Norway this year from the 2nd to the 9th of June, with the goal to strengthen our ties to academic and organizational communities in Tromsø.
Meghan met with Dr. Monika Abels, our board member at University of Tromsø, and her master’s student, Helenah Gustavsson, who will be doing research on young children’s nature connection this Fall very using similar methods to what she has done in Iceland. This could lead to a joint paper with Helenah about Arctic children’s relationships with the natural world, as well as a possible theory paper in collaboration with YAN project leader Dr. Jessica Aquino and Dr. Abels on critically examining cross-cultural understandings of nature connection. She also gave a talk on her research in Iceland to people in the UiT Psychology Department interested in the topic of young children’s nature connection.
Finally, Monika, Helenah and Meghan met with Katrine Opheim, Arctic Frontiers advisor, at the Fram Centre. Arctic Frontiers a Tromsø-based organization with the goal to foster valuable Arctic research in Norway and beyond. They had a wonderful conversation about the work they are doing, the Fram Centre, and the potential for programming and research collaborations with YAN in the next year. Like YAN, Arctic Frontiers aim to foster curiosity and increase knowledge about Arctic research in youth, to foster international collaboration, and to generate scholarly knowledge.
Thank you very much for your work Meghan, hoping to see you soon again in Iceland!