Last week of the Ist phase & fellow update on 2nd Phase

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his week the fellows presented their research proposal. The presentations were mandatory together with the attendance of all the fellows. Each presenter had a 1 hour session to present his/her topic and then open the floor for questions and discussion. The presentations aimed to allow the fellows to show how his/her proposed topic of research is being understood in the context of UNCLOS, ocean governance and management and how the topic will be further investigated and developed. DOALOS staff were invited to the sessions. They took time and attended sessions according to the respective topics and took part in the open floor for questions, comments and recommendations and any other general feedback on the presentation. This was a three-day event.

As this week was also the final week in New York and all the fellows were due to leave at the weekend to go to their 2nd phase destinations and host institutions, the fellows were very busy preparing for their departure, travel logistics and other housekeeping matters.At the end of the week, the fellows had to bid farewell to colleagues and DOALOS staffs. Fellows and staff shared heartfelt thanks for a successful phase 1 and the dedication to the work put in by everyone. To express their deepest gratitude and say thanks, the fellows presented a photo frame to DOALOS Director, and this was also presented over the farewell party hosted by DOALOS. Everybody had a good time and shared token of thanks and goodbyes.

Before their departure, the fellows shared some self-reflection on their 1st phase, from the time of arrival to the time of departure for the second phase. They agreed that throughout the phase they found it difficult to agree on some matters or reach consensus on topics as a team. But at the same time they also acknowledged they met as strangers in the beginning and were able to work as a new family in completing their mandated tasks with a positive spirit and had enjoyed their time and career growth together, while overcoming many different cross cultural barriers. They also agreed they greatly look forward to learning new skills, meeting new people and networking in the 2nd Phase and felt very lucky that they would reunite at the Alumni Meeting in Japan, which was being organized for the entire Alumni Network at the end of November. The fellows agreed that the meeting will provide an opportunity to find ways to further contribute to the Alumuni Network. The fellows are tasked to continue to contribute to the alumni website by preparing and posting short information texts during the second phase. For the first three months (July-September) the pieces should address current developments in oceans and the law of the sea or interesting facts you have gathered so far in preparing your outline and thesis.

2nd phase update: My second phase is at the Coastal Resource Center (CRC), Graduate school of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island. This center is hosting the UN fellow for the first time though the university has hosted the programme before. CRC staffs helped me greatly in settling in accommodation / admin / housekeeping and the room with my office space. In the first week of my arrival in July I met with the department staffs and presented my research topic in the light of my current UN fellowship. Also, I shared the details of the fellowship programme. September 3rd 2014, URI school year began after summer break. I attended The Marine Affairs department, College of the Environment and Life Science orientation and met other graduate students and department lecturers. The Department Chair Professor Robert Thompson welcome me to URI and to Marine Affairs programme and spoke about the UN Nippon fellowship programme. In the past, this department has hosted Nippon fellows, and Professor Robert has been the contact person. This department has an Ocean Policy and Law programme that offers courses on International Ocean law and organizations, Fisheries Law and Management and Marine Pollution Policy. I have been offered the opportunity to attend classes of my topic of research and also  meet and seek help from the Law professors on my thesis. I am really appreciative of the combined support from CRC and Marine Affairs at URI on my thesis.

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