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PURE Award Winner 2018: Mischa Longman

Undergrad researches the evolution of Arctic security policies around the world


Photos by Debby Herold, Faculty of Arts

By Heath McCoy
July 11, 2018

Committed to a goal of research excellence with its bold Eyes High strategy, one of UCalgary’s most important initiatives is the Program for Undergraduate Research Experience, better known as PURE.

Each year undergraduates can apply for the prestigious PURE Awards, which provide financial research support to some of the university’s most promising students over the Spring and Summer months.

The program is designed to give undergraduate students the opportunity to learn how to develop research projects, undertake independent research and contribute to knowledge in their respective fields.

To celebrate the PURE Award winners from the Faculty of Arts we will be running Q&A’s with a few of the recipients. Good luck to all of the Faculty of Arts PURE winners in their research pursuits!

Name:
Mischa Stewart Longman

Degree sought?
BA in Political Science (Honours program).

Research Topic
“I’m researching the development of Arctic-related foreign policies and defence policies of influential states around the world, from the fall of the Soviet Union to the present day. This includes states within the Arctic Circle, such as Canada, Russia and Norway, as well as those outside, like China, India and the U.K.”

What attracted you to this research project?
“International relations in general is a fascinating field with a deluge of theory and real-world research, but the modern Arctic is especially intriguing. Because of a relative lack of economic or infrastructural development in the Arctic, and the growing interest in the region from outside actors, it represents an area of increasing concern with a huge amount of potential – almost a new frontier for international politics.”

Why is this research important?
“Due to climate change, as well as improvements in resource extraction technology, the Arctic represents an area of immense untapped potential. With the ice preventing shipping and development melting at an unprecedented rate, the Arctic is a region which could generate immense economic activity in the very near future. There is a clear need for understanding the states involved, their goals, potential points of conflict with other states, and the ways in which they could end up interacting in this newly opened political and economic arena.”

What do you hope to achieve with this research?
“I hope to achieve a deeper understanding of the ins and outs of foreign policy, as well as build a clearer picture of the ongoing situation in the Arctic. Ultimately, I’d hope to build a good base on which to do further research as this fascinating topic develops.”

What do you love most about your field of study?
“The study of politics is interesting to me due to the immense potential it holds for helping people. It concerns the internal and external development of states as they attempt to meet their goals in our changing world, affecting millions in the process. I fully believe that understanding these processes, studying their past effects and current developments holds the best of chance of avoiding past mistakes and building a better future.”


Here is the complete list of PURE award winners from the Faculty of Arts:

  • Ali Hassan (Psychology) “The role of zinc in neurotransmission in the olfactory bulbs)
  • Alyssa Carruthers (Urban Studies) “Temporary land use, the creative class and the local economy in Calgary”
  • Andrew Kacey Thomas (Communications Studies and Archaeology) “Constructing Historical Value: Value discourses and the classification of archaeological sites in Alberta”
  • Araleigh Cranch (Geography) “Techniques in dissolved inorganic carbon analysis for sea ice”
  • Brooks Johnston (Linguistics) “Tracking the plural in classical Nahuatl”
  • Chloe Devereux (Psychology) “Language development and internalizing problems in children”
  • Emilie Rebecca Medland-Marchen (English) “My business is cloak and dagger: The historical and contemporary development of goth subcultures in Western Canadian urban centres”
  • Ira Adam (Law and Society) “Rehabilitation and social inclusion in twentieth century Canada”
  • Kate Lee (Psychology) “Can children be taught to understand verbal sarcasm? Short and long-term effects of training”
  • Katia Milovanova (Psychology) “Towards improving interview strategies: a glimpse into the goals of current interview practices”
  • KyungHwan Woo (Psychology) “Brian asymmetry study in children with prenatal alcohol exposure”
  • Leighton Fenske (Art History) “Spatial Context: The role of space in the sculptures of three baroque artists”
  • Mischa Longman (International Relations) “Changing attitudes to Arctic security policy”
  • Rachel Huh (Communications Studies) “Peer mentorship and inquiry based learning in higher education: A qualitative study of emotive support for first-year students”
  • Sabrina Pennetta (History Honours / Italian Studies) “Every word I write is history: Memory and literary analysis of Italian postwar literature”
  • Shifa Hayat (Geography) “Mapping accessible mobility in a Calgary community”
  • Yomna Waly (Psychology) “The effect of anxiety on grit in ethnic minority and non-minority undergraduate populations”