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emily horton, brazil, 2015-2016
Fulbright Scholar Emily Horton

Fulbright Year: 2015-2016
Country: Brazil
Proposal Type: Research Grant
Field of Study: Anthropology
Proposal Title: Socioecological Dimensions of Fisheries Governance in a Brazilian Extractive Reserve
UGA Degree Program: PhD in Anthropology and Integrative Conservation
Hometown: Greenbrier and Huntsville, Alabama

In the nine months that Emily Horton will spend in Brazil, she plans to gain experience in collaborative research as she studies the connections between fisheries governance, social and ecological factors, and the objectives of a marine protected area.

“It is a privilege and an honor to travel to another region of the world and immerse myself in localized bio-cultural landscapes of everyday life,” says Emily, who in 2004 earned her undergraduate degree in environmental sciences from the University of South Alabama and is now pursuing a Ph.D. through UGA’s Department of Anthropology and Integrative Conservation Program. “I’m especially looking forward to sharing experiences and exchanging knowledge with community members."

“Additionally, I’m excited about the possibility of finding opportunities to co-create with local residents, whether through participatory art, music, or culinary exchanges. I know I will grow immensely, both professionally and personally, and that this formative experience will enrich future research and life endeavors.”

Emily will live and conduct research with island-based communities that practice small-scale fishing and are located in a marine extractive reserve in northeast Brazil. She highlights that small-scale fisheries account for more than half of the world’s wild-caught seafood, providing food and employment for millions. "Within the context of a decline in global fisheries, various policy measures have been implemented to address sustainable and equitable fisheries governance," notes Emily. “However,” she adds, “policies that do not respond to the dynamic social and ecological context of fisheries risk falling short of, or even undermining, intended outcomes.”

She also intends to engage multiple institutions and policy makers through research endeavors.
“I aim to foster international collaborations under a cooperative agreement between the University of Georgia and Maranhão State University, my hosting institution,” Emily says. “Ongoing research updates will be shared with Maranhão State and ICMBio, the federal agency overseeing the reserve. Also, if feasible, a photo exhibit representing local perspectives and study results will engage communities, policymakers, and the public.”

Emily hopes that her research – which will blend social and natural science with photography – will contribute to efforts aimed at addressing global environmental challenges “in a more holistic, sustainable, and equitable manner.”

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