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Morgan Seag, BA, MPhil

Morgan Seag, BA, MPhil

PhD Candidate, Gates Cambridge Scholar

Morgan studies scientific institutions, gender, and policy in Antarctica

Biography

Morgan's research interests center on science, policy, and social change in international spaces. In broad terms, she is interested in the human side of these shared spaces: how are they used? by whom? to what end? More specifically, her PhD research at SPRI examines scientific institutions in Antarctica, asking how they have evolved to become more gender inclusive over time.

Morgan became interested in the polar regions during the austral summers of 2011-12 and 2012-13, when she worked for the US Antarctic Program at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Her PhD research also builds upon undergraduate training in political science at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as career experiences in science outreach and international education/arts consulting.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Geography/Polar Studies, University of Cambridge, expected 2021
  • MPhil in Geography/Polar Studies, with distinction, University of Cambridge, 2015
  • BA in Political Science (minors in African Studies, French), summa cum laude, University of Pennsylvania, 2008

Research

Morgan's research examines women's integration into Antarctic field science in the mid-twentieth century. Focusing on the US Antarctic Program (USAP) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) as case studies, this research interrogates the conditions that sustained exclusionary policies toward women and the processes that impelled women's eventual integration into Antarctic fieldwork. Her research attends to the construction of extreme environments; the influence of social movements and legal structures in remote spaces; the role of internationalism in science; and the relationship between formal and informal processes of change. This research offers a unique perspective on the relationship between gender, science, and the state, and sheds light on a previously unexamined aspect of equal opportunities for women. Research is based on archival analysis and interviews.

As part of this research, Morgan is conducting an oral history project that documents the stories of the first generation of women to work in Antarctica, along with other pioneering women in the Antarctic science and support communities.

Morgan's broad research interests include: History of science; science and society; institutional change; political geography; oral history; polar geopolitics; climate and society; diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Publications

Peer-reviewed publications

  • Seag, M., Badhe, R., & Choudhry, I. (2019). Intersectionality in International Polar Research. Polar Record. doi: 10.1017/S0032247419000585
  • Seag, M. (2019). The Routledge Handbook of the Polar Regions. The Polar Journal. doi: 10.1080/2154896X.2019.1606390
  • Starkweather, S., Seag, M., Lee, O., & Pope, A. (2018). Revisiting perceptions and evolving culture - a community dialogue on women in polar research. Polar Research, 37(1). doi: 10.1080/17518369.2018.1529529
  • Seag, M. (2017). Women need not apply: gendered institutional change in Antarctica and Outer Space. The Polar Journal, 7(2), 319-335.

​Other publications

  • Philips, A. (Ed.), Erceg, D. (Ed.), Seag, M., et al. (2019). Final Report of the XLII Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. Published by the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat.
  • Seag, M. (2019). Female Voices on Climate Change. Gates Cambridge. Retrieved from https://www.gatescambridge.org/multimedia/blog/female-voices-climate-change.
  • Seag, M. (2019). Women in Polar Research: A brief history. The Arctic Institute. https://www.thearcticinstitute.org/women-polar-research-brief-history/
  • Tummon, F., Seag, M., et al. (2019). INTERACT Fieldwork Planning Handbook. Association of Polar Early Career Scientists and International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic.
  • Seag, M. The Trouble with Heroism. Chemistry World (Royal Society of Chemistry). https://www.chemistryworld.com/opinion/when-antarctica-stopped-being-only-for-men/3007778.article
  • Pecchia-Bekkum, A., Seag, M., et al. (Associate Eds.) (2017). The Scholar, 14. Gates Cambridge.
  • Bonetti, M. & Seag, M. (Eds.) (2010). Through African Eyes: Conversations with the Directors. New York: African Film Festival, Inc.

Presentations

  • Invited Speaker, Smithsonian Institution, "American Women of Science" conference (virtual due to COVID-19), Oct 2020.
  • Invited Banquet Keynote, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, "Symposium: A Celebration of Women in Antarctica," Columbus, OH, October 2019.
  • Invited Panelist, Hay Festival, "Female Voices on Climate Change," Hay-on-Wye, UK, June 2019.

Full list of presentations available upon request.
Includes 7 invited talks; 5 international conference presentations; 4 conference posters; and 4 workshop presentations.

Media engagement

Regularly invited to provide expert commentary related to gender equality and the polar regions. Cited in BBC, CNN, The Times, El Diario, Cambridge 105 radio, Polar Times podcast, E&E News, Lucy in the Sky podcast, and others.

Teaching

University of Cambridge Department of Geography:

  • Undergraduate Supervisor, Living with Global Change: Cultures of Risk (1B)
  • Undergraduate Supervisor, Environmental Knowledges and the Politics of Expertise (II)
  • Guest Lecturer, Human Geography Masterclass
  • Guest Lecturer, Sutton Trust Summer School
  • Guest Lecturer, Homerton Geography Summer School

University of Cambridge History Department:

  • Guest Lecturer, World Environmental History

University of California, Berkeley Department of Integrative Biology:

  • Guest Lecturer & course design, Education & Outreach in Public Schools (IB-198)

University of California, Berkeley Department of Physics:

  • Seminar Leader, Science Outreach for Undergraduates

External activities

  • Int'l Council of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), Member, Co-Chair, Ex-Officio Member, 2017-2020
  • Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, Rapporteur, 2019
  • European Polar Board, Rapporteur, 2018
  • Polar Humanities and Social Sciences Workshop, Co-Founder & Co-Convener, 2016-2020