Meet Sebastian Packalen – Master's student in Sea and Society
Sebastian Packalén wanted to work towards a more sustainable use of our ocean - and chose to take a Master's degree in Sea and Society.
Why did you want to study the Master’s programme in Sea and Society?
"I have a Bachelor degree in Marine Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology, and after working a few years on cruise ships, I fell in love with the oceans. I wanted to study the Sea and Society program to work towards more sustainable uses of our oceans, something that is urgently needed in order for future generations to also use and enjoy the oceans like I do."
What is special about the programme?
"Since my year was the first ever on the Sea & Society program I did not know what to expect. During the first year I was a bit sceptical towards the broad perspectives of the courses. I got the feeling that we did not have the time to dive into the different fields of marine spatial planning, blue growth or marine conservation, to name a few interesting topics. But, during my second year I understood how much I actually learned and how valuable that knowledge can be in interdisciplinary research and for a future career within marine management or conservation."
What is special about studying at the University of Gothenburg?
"Unfortunately my studies at the university were, and are, heavily influenced by the ongoing pandemic which makes it difficult to get a proper feeling of the study environment at the University. However, I have met a lot of enthusiastic and smart students, teachers and researchers who definitely contribute to an inspiring environment. I also want to say that the facilities that the University of Gothenburg provides, especially the marine research station at Tjärnö, exceed my expectations and are something that really makes the study time special."
What are you working with now?
"Earlier this year, during my internship, I joined a multinational research project called Land2Sea. After the internship I got the opportunity to continue working with the project but instead as my master's thesis, which I'm currently writing. The project is interdisciplinary and studies the combined effects from human pressures and climate change on ecosystem processes, services and benefits in coastal societies. I’m involved in the Swedish case study group that focuses on the area around Kosterhavet in northern Bohuslän."