Social media spotlight: Kathleen Brown
Hometown: Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Kathleen Brown is a rising senior majoring in ecology and environmental sciences. She studied in Greenland and Iceland in spring 2018 through a University of Maine and School for International Training (SIT) scholarship. Brown investigated the ecological impact of invasive flatfish at the University of Iceland’s Research Centre in the Westfjords, and took courses on natural and anthropogenic drivers of climate change, climate modeling, Arctic ecosystem science and research ethics. She also boated through one of the world’s largest fjord systems in Greenland, skied in Ísafjörður, flew to Grimsey Island on the Arctic Circle and saw the northern lights.
“Through field work and cultural immersion, this study abroad experience really solidified my passion and fascination for the Arctic ecosystem. The starkly beautiful treeless and snow-covered landscapes are what initially drew me to the Arctic. However, as I traveled through this region I learned how truly dynamic and vulnerable this ecosystem is, and how fast it is evolving due to climate change. My passion for my studies stems from my desire to contribute to the preservation of these ecologically and culturally significant areas. My time in Iceland and Greenland opened my mind to the idea of seriously pursuing my interest for polar ecology in graduate school. In my downtime, I am usually hanging in my hammock enjoying a good book or podcast. Besides that, I spend my weekends kayaking, hiking and camping around Maine with my friends. I love the way the UMaine campus experiences and embraces all four seasons. The transformation from the fall foliage to a winter wonderland is truly breathtaking, but being here in the full bloom and lush of spring and summer is something quite special, too, if you get the chance.”