Jessica Graybill, associate professor of geography, is heading to Russia. The winner of a Science and Innovation Fulbright award, Graybill will spend a year studying the social and cultural geographies of climate change in Vladivostok. The biggest city in Russia’s Far East, Vladivostok is the center for fishing and shipping and home to the Russian Navy.
Graybill studies sustainability and its impact on the Arctic.
“Even though Vladivostok isn’t in the Arctic, as the main shipping port, it plays an important role in how Russia confronts climate change,” she explained.
During her year in Russia, Graybill seeks to understand how the citizens — from different social and ethnic groups, professional orientations (business, science, government), and leadership levels — approach the problem of climate change in this coastal city.
“In Russia, acknowledgement of climate change is very recent,” says Graybill.
Last year, Graybill was on a team that was awarded a five-year grant for sustainability science research in the Arctic. The team is charged with cataloguing the changing ecosystem in the arctic, and logging it.
One of the desired outcomes of the sustainability research project is convincing more students to study climate change in the Arctic, and the Russian Arctic specifically.
Graybill, who is the outgoing chair of the Sustainability Council at Colgate, will have an opportunity to talk to students about that goal when she leads them on an extended course-related trip to Russia.