As a quick introduction my name is Megan Hinzman and I come from Fairbanks, Alaska. I left Fairbanks in 2010 to attend the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. During that time I joined the University of Washington Costume Club and expanded my sewing projects from quilts to garments. It was a wonderful time of learning and crafting. I graduated in 2014 with a double major in History and Anthropology and a minor in Architecture. After spending the summer and fall working as a research assistant at the University of Alaska Fairbanks I moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to work with Dr. Phillip Loring and attend the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan.
My research is on Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off of the coast of British Columbia. To put it simply my research is focused on how the marine environment impacts non-indigenous residents’ well-being and the major issues of concern for the island’s communities. On Haida Gwaii, as with many coastal communities, the marine environment is central to quality of life and community well-being. I am still mid-writing/analyzing so I won’t go into the finding details just yet but look for it sometime this year. If you are interested in learning more about my research, please feel free to email me and my major professor, Dr. Philip Loring, has a website dedicated to his research, http://www.conservationofchange.org/
Crafting is a very important part of my life, when I first moved to Saskatoon I decided not to get a sewing machine in order to dedicate all my time to my thesis. That turned out a very bad idea. Not only was I not more productive but I was incredibly miserable. After 4 months of wallowing in Netflix I broke down and bought a cheap sewing machine and my quality of life improved exponentially. I then went full crafty and started spending all my evenings and free time quilting. After the initial frenzy my crafting mellowed and I started to diversify my crafting focus. I took up linocut carving, which was then followed by Ukrainian egg dyeing, and I’ve most recently began to work with polymer clay.
Hobbies are an important part of work-life balance but are generally the first sacrifice made when life gets busy with work, research, and family. I’m here to advocate for the hobbies. I am hoping that researchers and students will take the time to talk about their hobbies and crafts in order to show their multifaceted interests and that this exercise will remind them about a possibly neglected passion. I hope this will provide interesting insight into the lives of academics and I look forward to developing this blog.