I’m grateful for the Marshall program for exposing me to policy issues and giving me an education in UK government and international affairs, topics I normally wouldn’t have exposure to in my engineering-focused graduate work. Yet they are critically important to the ocean, especially in the coming decade as multinational bodies shape the future of our waters, for better or for worse.
Each year the Marshall Scholarship, the program funding my PhD, takes scholars on a trip to Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. This year’s destination was Northern Ireland. Our first stop was Belfast, the capitol. We toured the Parliament buildings there, received an overview lecture on Northern Ireland’s history, and a tour focused on the political history by Dr. Dominic Bryan, Director of Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University.
During the 4-day trip we also went on a walking tour of the walled city of Derry and attended a reception hosted by US Consul General Greg Burton. I particularly enjoyed the afternoon at the University of Ulster, chatting with graduate students in the Department of Computing and Intelligent Systems. It was a packed schedule! More photos on Instagram.
The highlight of our trip was a talk by Anne Applebaum over a delightful lunch in Queen’s University Great Hall. Applebaum is a Marshall alumna, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, and wife of Poland's former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Radoslaw Sikorski. She spoke to us about her research on communism. Her talk was one of the Marshall Scholarship’s 60th anniversary lecture series.
Many thanks again to the Marshall program, including administrators, alumni, sponsors, and my fellow scholars for the intellectually stimulating and action-packed week.
After the official program I spent the weekend in Dublin with a few other scholars. A day trip to the Cliffs of Moher was the highlight of the weekend. More photos on Instagram.
I had the chance to reunite with a PR2 robot at University of Ulster, Department of Computing and Intelligent Systems.
The Cliffs of Moher. I feel so fortunate and grateful to be living and working to better understand this great ecosystem lapping at the shores of the cliffs.
Grace Young is an MIT ocean engineer, aquanaut and ocean explorer. She was a scientist/engineer with Cousteau's Mission 31. She's currently a PhD student at University of Oxford, chief scientist for the Pisces VI deepsea submarine, and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer.