Friday, May 25, 2018

"Drops of Diplomacy"

For those of you interested in (1) what I was exploring with my PhD, (2) water, (3) politics, (4) the Middle East, (5) study abroad, (6) climate change, or (7) some random combination of the above: Feel free to check out a piece just published in The Journal of Hydrology. We've a window (till mid-July) during which you can read the article free online via After that, unfortunately it shifts to paid access through a corporate journal - though this means I will finally get a 'pretty' version of the PDF all formatted! If you'd like, do get in touch and I'm happy to send a copy of my accepted manuscript version as well.

The paper is a case study of one of my doctoral research partners. It argues that, by intentionally using fog to facilitate collaborative exchange, Dar Si Hmad is engaging in a form of hydro-diplomacy. Drawing from ethnographic data and building on international relations theories of Track Diplomacy, the paper demonstrates how fog water is being used to lay the groundwork for durable peace, intercultural understanding, and symbiotic growth. Such local iterations of hydro-diplomacy should be better understood and integrated with the emerging literature on state-to-state water cooperation in order to develop holistic expertise, share best practices, and promote positive policy interventions.

Enjoy! (Or don't. It's definitely the nerdy version of what I'm doing. You can always skim Dar Si Hmad's blog for the more-action, less-theory version of the story:

Thursday, May 24, 2018's been a while

Hello, all...and apologies! It's been far longer than I meant it to be.

Last I posted, I had submitted my initial thesis to King's College London. Since then, I:
  • Went to Israel for a friend's wedding and hosted my brother in London for Christmas;
  • Served as the geography professor for 17 students, leading them around Scandinavia and the Nordic region on a twelve-day field studies course on sustainability and environmental justice;
  • Took on a six-month contract covering some staff leave at Syracuse London, focusing on internships and communications;
  • Had my PhD viva, which was a very vibrant and fulfilling conversation that resulted in some really exciting revisions to the thesis;
  • Traveled to San Diego for a conference on preventing ocean plastics and other marine debris alongside partners from the Kuwait Dive Team;
  • Introduced my Moroccan fog-harvesting partner Dar Si Hmad to a handful of undergraduate and postgraduate students during a field school visit to Agadir;
  • Spoke at a conference in Lund, Sweden, on the 'Nature of Peace'; and
  • Played with lots of fabulous kids around London - most notably, hosting a sleepover for four young ones all at once one weekend.
It's been a very joy-filled and busy several months!

And, the big news:

Following the fun I've had with Syracuse London in a variety of roles, I am happy to announce that today I signed a contract with them for a full-time role. They are sponsoring me for a visa to remain in the UK, which has been a long journey and I'm very honoured that they have taken the trouble. I'll be their Community Relations Manager as well as an Adjunct Professor. In addition to teaching classes on sustainability, global citizenship, and professional development, I will be running programming on volunteering, internships, and community engagement. This means I get to do a loaded combination of teaching, event management, individual and group mentorship, and research impact activities. It's quite a perfect role for me, with my hands in lots of pies and my days never the same.

I imagine I will be blogging less frequently, as it won't be appropriate for me to share daily stories about my students here, and that will be the bulk of my time! But I will endeavour to send updates more than every five months, for goodness' sake. You can also check out the Syracuse London to get an idea of what I'm up to - for example, check out this blog written by one of my students describing our environmental journey up north:

All in all, life is grand and happy here in Londontown...especially as spring/summer is finally coming to the British Isles, and blue skies and green leaves are giving everything a glorious glow! All the best to everyone. :)