My name is Roxanne Springer. Just over 4 years ago, I began my PhD in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management (GEM), supported by funding from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship (QES) program. Prior to that, I completed a Masters in the Climate Change at the University of Waterloo. My interest in climate change, combined with a concern for the future wellbeing of populations in small island developing state (SIDS) in the Caribbean, led me to the Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program in Geography.
My research investigates climate change impacts on wellbeing in Barbados, specifically exploring the association between climate change, wellbeing and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
A major takeaway from my field season, is the importance of on-the ground partners to facilitate data collection. These partners, be they individuals, institutions/organisations, are instrumental in providing introductions to key people, and lending support to get you through the doors of key-informants, who otherwise may be too busy to participate in your research. While it is possible to conduct research without partners, it is more difficult. A second takeaway is the need for flexibility as a researcher. We can write a fantastic research proposal, have the best research design and data collection tools, but circumstances beyond our control can completely upend plans. At times like these, flexibility is a vital skill for a researcher to have, be that having backup data collection methods to gather the data needed, or alternative participants/sources of data to get the information needed.
I feel incredibly fortunate to be at the forefront of this research area, and I am excited to share my findings with the academic community and those in industry.