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Oshin Whyte, Masters by Research Candidate – Coastal Cultural Values of the Turks and Caicos Islands

We are pleased to announce that Oshin Whyte is the new Masters by Research candidate through the University of Kent in the UK.

Oshin will be investigating the Coastal Cultural Values of the Turks and Caicos Islands and be supervised by Dr Robert Fish Reader in Tourism Management and Dr Mark Hampton, both geographers with expertise on small-island culture. The project will take one year to complete.

Oshin’s project forms part of the Darwin PLUS funded Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) project, that is a collaboration between the Turks and Caicos Islands Government Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) and the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI). The aim of the MSP project is to develop MSP tools for TCI to feed into long term planning and decision making in the marine environment, and to help achieve the ecological, economic and social objectives of the TCIG.

Coastal areas are especially important to human well-being with about half the world’s population living close to the sea, and cultural identity is strongly associated with the ways in which people interact with their coastal areas. Coastal Cultural Values are the nonmaterial benefits people obtain from coastal areas. The Coastal Cultural Values project aims to contribute to the MSP project by investigating the distribution of the coastal cultural values around the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Oshin, a Turks Islander Divemaster and Environmental Scientist said, “I have ample experience working in and around the marine environment in the Turks and Caicos and have over 1,000 logged scuba dives.  I am beyond ecstatic about this Masters programme here at the University of Kent as it provides me with the opportunity to explore a topic that hasn’t been explored in the Turks and Caicos. One that will contribute to the wider understanding and ultimately the better management of the marine environment of the islands. Something that I am passionate about! “

The research by Oshin is informed by work conducted in the South Atlantic by Dr Robert Fish at the University of Kent and is designed to inform practical consideration of cultural values in marine decision making.