Elin Torell, PhD ’03

Natural Resource Studies Lures Student from Rhode Island to Tanzania

Originally from Gothenburg, Sweden, Elin Torell, PhD ’03, thought she’d be in the United States for one year when she received her scholarship to work at the Coastal Resources Center (CRC) to study the history of water quality and fisheries management of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. She recalls “first learning about Antioch University New England, AUNE’s approach was a perfect match, allowing me to be part of a challenging PhD program while continuing to do fieldwork through CRC.”

Elin became interested in doctoral work while studying natural resource management issues during her master’s program in Human and Economic Geography at the University of Gothenburg. As research for her dissertation, Elin studied the learning strategies of two coastal management initiatives in Tanzaniathe Tanga and TCMP projects, following the projects for four years. “Although I traveled a lot during my time as a PhD student, I never felt disconnected from Antioch because so much of our work was presented and discussed online.”

Elin appreciated the non-competitive, supportive environment at AUNE. Great effort was put into building a community and spirit within each cohort and between the years. The friendship and level of intellectual support from this diverse group was and continues to be amazing. Working at CRC, Elin is still one of the members of the East Africa Team, spending about one to two months in Tanzania every year. She is also leading a new project to mainstream gender equity and demographics into coastal management initiatives worldwide. “The PhD program provided great training for working with these complex and cross-cutting issues.”

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