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Morgan Seag, BA, MPhil

Morgan Seag, BA, MPhil

PhD Student, 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 2019
  • 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 PhD 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 and sociology of science; feminist theory; political geography; institutional change; environmental history; global commons; frontier spaces

Publications

Selected publications:

  • 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.
  • Bonetti, M. & Seag, M. (eds.) (2010). Through African Eyes: Conversations with the Directors. New York: African Film Festival, Inc.

Teaching

University of Cambridge Department of Geography:

  • Undergraduate Supervisor, Living with Global Change (1B)
  • Undergraduate Supervisor, Environmental Knowledges and the Politics of Expertise (II)

University of Cambridge History Department:

  • Guest Lecturer, World Environmental History ("Poles")

University of California, Berkeley Department of Integrative Biology:

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

External activities

  • Co-Chair, Int'l Council of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), 2017-present
  • Co-Convenor, Polar Humanities and Social Sciences Workshop, 2016-present
  • Associate Editor, The Scholar (Gates Cambridge magazine) , 2016-2017