The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Picture of Lukas Strickland '08

Lukas Strickland '08

Watson (Thomas J Watson) Fellowship

As reported in the May 19, 2008 Oregonian:

The Oregonian Staff

After he graduates from Reed College today, Lukas Strickland will set out the next year to produce a documentary on how globalization and climate change are affecting fishing villages in Cameroon, Morocco and Madagascar.

But first he'll take his own 32-foot gill-netter out to fish for salmon this summer in Bristol Bay, Alaska, near the Bering Sea, as he has done every summer since he was 16.

Strickland's 23 years on earth have been as unconventional as Reed, the small, private Portland liberal arts college where he and 303 other students will be taking degrees at commencement today.

While he grew up fishing for salmon in Alaska, he also spent most of his adolescence in France and a year in Italy. And after he graduated from a Swiss high school, he spent a year teaching English in China. He showed up at Reed three years ago fluent in French and Italian and proficient in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, and he has since studied Russian.

"He is a very cosmopolitan person," said Darius Rejali, a Reed professor and political science department chair who became Strickland's mentor. "He can cross European and American cultures, and he really thinks about the globe. It is part of his lived experience."

After spending most of his last three years holed up in academia with books, Strickland, a political science major, is eager once again to venture into the world. And he'll do it with a $25,000 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship grant for a year of exploration abroad. He was one of 50 winners, chosen from 1,000 applicants for their passion, creativity and plan.

Strickland will test his hypothesis that small traditional fishing villages in Third World countries might function like canaries in a coal mine as the first humans to be affected by globalization and climate change....

Previous profile: Liz Alexy '08 | Next profile: Margit Bowler '11

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