Ms Anna Guasco (2019)
While studying at Carleton College in Minnesota and working as a park ranger at my local national park in coastal California, I found myself drawn to the unexpected connections between storytelling, history, environment, and justice. I centred my undergraduate and postgraduate research around these interdisciplinary interests, obtaining a B.A. in American Studies at Carleton and an M.Sc. in Environment, Culture and Society as an Avangrid Scholar at the University of Edinburgh. In my doctoral research in Geography at the University of Cambridge, I will study geographies, histories, and narratives of grey whale migration and conservation along the North American Pacific Coast. Through this work, I aim to examine how stories affect perceptions of historical encounters and outcomes of contemporary encounters, and to assess how storytelling interacts with issues of justice. In addition, I am passionate about public engagement, access, and accessibility. My interest in public engagement and access has been shaped by professional, academic, and service experiences, including volunteering as an environmental educator and education consultant, organizing Carleton’s first ‘BioBlitz’, serving as a resident assistant and public scholarship fellow at Carleton, supporting a local city council member’s environmental justice advocacy, and conducting independent research on environmental history, ethics, and aesthetics with Channel Islands National Park. As a Gates Cambridge Scholar, I hope to collaborate with other Scholars and Cambridge community members to promote equitable access to research, education, and storytelling.