I am GRID-Arendal’s expert in marine spatial planning, i.e. the process of planning, deciding and managing who is allowed to do what, when and where at sea: Ideally, a strategic process with overarching goals relating to the environment, economy and society, underpinned by best available science, that strives to minimize conflicts, involve stakeholders, and bring together disparate sectors, public sector institutions and processes. At GRID-Arendal, I work on a range of projects to provide support and build relevant technical and management capacity in different corners of the world.
So how do you become a marine spatial planning expert? In my case, the first step was an education in natural science (a BSc in Biology from the University of York and an MSc in Marine Environmental Protection from the University of Wales, Bangor, UK). I then worked as a marine ecologist at a UK environmental agency, before moving on to a collaborative multi-sector stakeholder project to plan marine protected areas. This led on to two years researching marine spatial planning governance in European seas at University College London, followed by two years at a private consultancy working on environmental impact assessments and licensing /consenting support for offshore wind farms, and three years as an independent consultant supporting marine planners and delivering training in spatial decision support tools. As such, I’ve spanned academic disciplines, economic sectors, and multiple divides between science, policy, management, and governance.
I speak native English and German, fluent Spanish, passable Catalan, and high-school French. I’m aiming to improve the latter, at the same time as learning how to get by in Norwegian.