Fulbright Norway
Kate Houle, Communications Specialist

Congratulations are in order for Math Teaching Fellow, Martha Torstenson! She was recently awarded a Fulbright in Norway! We are all very excited for her, even if we are sad to see her leave Conserve School. We are delighted not only for this great recognition she has received and the research that she will be doing, but also the possibility that she will come back and share her research and experiences with us here at Conserve School. When I asked her what she will be doing, she was able to fill me in on all of the details:

"I'll be at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS:https://www.unis.no/ ) for 10 months starting in August. I'll be doing research on life history adaptations to seasonality, intra-annual variability and potentially how those things relate to resilience to climate change. I'll be working most closely with a professor named Oystein Varpe (https://www.unis.no/staff/oystein-varpe/)."

Obviously, all of her time won't be spent in the lab. Also, she will have three months of polar night to contend with. That's a lot of darkness. Martha has been to Norway before though, and she feels prepared.

"Outside of my research, I'm hoping to do lots of skiing, maybe the Norwegian Birkie and the Svalbard Ski Marathon! The mid-year meeting of all the Fulbrighters in Norway is also followed by a traditional Norwegian ski weekend in the mountains! I hope to reconnect with family and other folks that I met when I was in Norway three years ago, as well. I plan to do a lot of outdoor exploring, make lots of friends and stay happy, cozy and active through the three months of polar night."

Surely Martha's love of winter combined with her Norwegian ancestry, and Minnesotan upbringing will carry her through!

Martha has been a great asset to the Conserve School family.  Not only is she an enthusiastic teacher, mathematician, and Nordic skier, but she is supportive of both her students and colleagues. We hope to collaborate more in the future. 

"I've also been doing some scheming about staying connected with Conserve School in some capacity while abroad and thinking about conservation and ecology in a different context."

We certainly hope that she will! 

Here's some more general info about Fulbright in Norway. https://fulbright.no/fulbright-norway/history/

Here are a couple of photos I took of Martha this year at The American Birkie!

Martha before Skiing The Birkie
Martha near the finish of The Birkie