Alumni Spotlight: Angkana Rawichutiwan
Our July 2023 Summer Alumni Spotlight is Dr. Angkana Rawichutiwan. Read more about Angkana’s journey from academia to action-oriented professional work in the United Nation System.
Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, I am currently based in Bangkok, Thailand where I work as Regional Coordination Officer with The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC/UNESCO), the Sub Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC).
I earned my Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Hawai’i in 2019. My fieldwork focused on the political ecology of rural small-scale fishing villages in Southern Thailand. In particular, my dissertation, “COASTAL GUARDIANS AND PRECARIOUS LIVELIHOODS: THE POLITICAL ECOLOGY OF MANGROVE NARRATIVES”. I am particularly interested in the social construction of environmental scientific knowledge and the impacts of environmental narratives and discursive practices on the livelihoods of local communities and the environment.
I have been working as a regional (WESTPAC) coordination officer for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 – 2030). Although the job is not directly an extension of my PhD, my interest in the topic of my PhD has drawn me to this job. Since the vision of the UN Ocean Decade is “the science we need for the ocean we want,” I want to be a part of an effort to make science relevant and practical to people and the environment on the ground. And yes, I have ventured out of academia. I have always wanted to be a practitioner. Seeing first-hand how my knowledge can be applied to improve people’s lives is more rewarding for me.