Meet Eric Strömberg - Master's student in Sea and Society
When Eric Strömberg began his master's studies, he didn't know what he wanted to work with in the future. During the second year, he found his calling – marine planning.
Why did you want to study the master's programme in Sea and Society?
“I had a bachelor's degree in geography and wanted to add an interdisciplinary education. I heard about the Sea and Society programme, and thought that sounded interesting. What appealed to me was that it was a programme where the students came from different backgrounds, and that many of the lecturers came from places outside the University.”
What’s it like to study the programme?
“I didn't know much about the ocean when I started here, so the first year was very intense and I learned a lot. It’s been very fruitful to have classmates with different backgrounds, such as political science, law, and biology. I also appreciate that many of the lecturers came from authorities, organizations, and companies, and presented a wide range of working opportunities within ocean-related issues. I got my internship through one of these guest lecturers, and so did many of my classmates.”
Where did you do your internship?
“During the autumn, I did my internship within a project that works with development of an ecosystem-based web tool for marine planning in the western Indian Ocean. The project is called ‘WIO Symphony’, and is a collaboration between the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the University of Gothenburg, the Geological Survey of Sweden, and the Nairobi Convention. With my background as a geographer, I have benefited greatly from my computer skills and I have, among other things, produced data for the web tool. I have also participated at two conferences in Tanzania and South Africa to demonstrate the tool.”
What did you learn during the internship?
“Lots! First, that I want to work with marine planning, preferably at an authority. Second, that this project concerns more than just data and technology. Relationships, and finding good ways to collaborate, are at least as important.”
What are you doing now?
“I’m writing my master's thesis in collaboration with the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. By making computer models, I search for ‘climate refuges’, that is places where species and stocks are expected to arrive to when the water temperature in the ocean rises. These places will be important to protect in the future.”
What tips do you have for students who are going to enter the programme?
“Use your time wisely! Take the opportunity to network with guest lectures and at study visits. And then use these contacts to find a suitable and interesting internship.”