Dickey Center Fellow Receives Prestigious Research Award from the Government of Canada

We are extremely pleased to announce that Leah Sarson, postdoctoral research associate in the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth and Visiting Arctic Fellow in the Institute of Arctic Studies, was recently chosen to receive a prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) fellowship from the Government of Canada, an award given to the “most promising Canadian new scholars in the social sciences and humanities.”

Sarson will use her award to continue her postdoctoral work at Dartmouth with Melody Brown Burkins, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies and Associate Director for Programs and Research at the Dickey Center, Ross Virginia, Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science and Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies, and several other Dartmouth colleagues.

“I could not be happier to have Dr. Sarson continue with us here at the Dickey Center,” said Burkins, who sponsored Sarson for the SSHRC award, “Her scholarship consistently tackles complex and challenging issues at the intersection of international relations, indigenous and international governance, natural resource management, Canadian foreign policy studies, and gender equality. There are few who can weave such important ideas together to both advance scholarly knowledge and simultaneously develop a narrative that actively informs policy and diplomacy. We are lucky to have her here.”

Sarson’s successful SSHRC proposal, entitled, “Who’s in Charge? How Subnational, Indigenous, and National Governments Compete in the Global Resource Extraction Sector,” was ranked in the top five of 156 projects submitted to SSHRC for the 2016 competition. Her work will explore the conditions under which Indigenous governments in the Arctic leverage local resource extraction as a financial and political tool to realize international policy priorities. With a focus on the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, and Alaska, she will compare the evolution of Indigenous governments as international actors and examine how these governments build relationships with international partners engaged in the resource extraction sector, integrating local identities and cultural priorities into their political agenda.

Sarson completed her Ph.D. in political science at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, in 2016. She has a strong connection to Dartmouth and the Dickey Center, where she served as a Visiting Fulbright Research Scholar in 2015-16 and a Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth (GRID) fellow in 2017. Sarson’s work at Dartmouth has been supported in part by the Dickey Center’s Canada Institute Endowment, supporting research and programs advancing US-Canada engagement and Canadian Studies.