Allison Cutting - Young Explorer

Allison Cutting

Young Explorer

Captivated by the interweaving of ecology and society, Allison utilizes questions and cameras to document lived experiences at sea and explore sustainable and just management.

Growing up on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, attending university in Seattle, and going to graduate school in Vancouver, British Columbia, Allison knows the Salish Sea as home. She is trained as a social ecologist and has been investigating the oceans, with a focus on small-scale fisheries, since 2015. While conducting scientific research, Allison lived in five coastal communities and witnessed many ways of knowing the sea. Such experience has led her to pair scientific and local knowledge with visual storytelling to understand and communicate human-ocean relationships.

As part of the Young Explorers program, Allison will be cataloguing the variety of ways people see the sea and drawing connectedness through a shared ocean. Her approach is interdisciplinary and participatory. Her aim is to serve as a bridge between perspectives and support ecologically sustainable and socially just management and policy.

Allison works as a research assistant at the Institute for Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia and collaborates with Casa Congo sustainability hub in Nicaragua. She is a 2019 National Geographic Explorer and 2020 OceanX grantee with The Explorers Club, through which she became connected to Adventure Canada’s Young Explorers program. When not at sea, she can be found surfing in waves, biking on trails, wandering on photo walks, and experiencing films with friends.