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Sam Saville, BA, MSc, PhD

Sam Saville, BA, MSc, PhD

Teaching Associate

Environmental and cultural geographer interested in human-nature relations, polar geographies, knowledge production and value.



  • 2018-2019: ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Aberystwyth University.
  • 2016-2018: Research Assistant, GLOBAL-RURAL project, Aberystwyth University.
  • 2014-2018: Part-time Human Geography lecturer, Aberystwyth University.
  • 2015-2016 Visiting Human Geography Lecturer, University of Chester.
  • 2012 -2014: Academic Geography tutor, Aberystwyth University.
  • 2009-2012: Distance Learning Environment and Energy Tutor and Lecturer, Graduate School of the Environment, Centre for Alternative Technology.


  • 2005: BA (Hons, first class) Human Geography, Aberystwyth University.
  • 2009: MSc Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies (Distinction), University of East London/ Centre for Alternative Technology.
  • 2012: PG Cert. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Aberystwyth University
  • 2017: PhD Human Geography, Aberystwyth University

Awards and scholarships

  • Awarded ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship 2018 -2019. £117,844 total project worth.
  • ESRC Institutional Visit to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, June 2015.
  • ESRC Overseas Fieldwork Funding: May - July 2014, February 2015
  • ESRC PhD studentship, Wales DTC, 2012-2015
  • Undergraduate: Awarded the Price Davies Scholarship for social science, Gareth Thomas travel bursary (2004) and the Human Geography year group prize (2005).


My research interests are centred on nature-culture relations and processes of change and include: polar, arctic and rural geographies, climate change, conservation and sustainability, political ecology, environmental values, theories and practices of value, globalization, assemblage theory and participatory methods.

My PhD, 'Saving Svalbard? Contested value, conservation practices and everyday life in the high Arctic', traced practices of value through political, economic and cultural frameworks and everyday practice. In particular, it focused on value relations and decision making processes connected to wilderness and cultural heritage protection. My postdoctoral work connected to this project has continued this work in applying value theory in the context of rapid and on-going socio-economic and environmental change in Svalbard.

Through the Global-Rural project, we used an assemblage theory lens to understand how 'everyday places' in rural Wales are impacted, enrolled in, adapt to and potentially thrive within processes of globalization. Working with a long-term ethnographic case study and at rural festivals in Wales.

My current project seeks to understand cultural values and how they can be 'accounted for' within the ecosystem services 'Nature's Contribution to People' framework. Working in the Abisko region of Northern Sweden, I am part of a multi-disciplinary team, Access Abisko Values, using exploratory, participatory ethnographic, artistic and citizen science techniques aiming to incorporate multiple knowledges of human- nonhuman relations.


[Publications will appear automatically from the University's publications database...]


Director of Learning development, Geography 2020-2021

  • Part II Paper 2, Geographies of the Arctic
  • MPhil in Polar Studies
  • Part 1B Human Geography Skills and Methods (co - cordinator)
  • Part 1B Fieldtrip

External activities

  • Active member of Svalbard Social Science Initiative
  • Ambassador for Women in the Arctic and Antarctic
  • Member of UK Polar Network and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists