Such adverse events have significant ecological, social, and cultural implications, affecting the basic living conditions (water, food, shelter-nexus/WFS-nexus) and heritage of the island inhabitants. This research builds on the principle that local-specific practices and ontologies of Caribbean societies are crucial for promoting sustainable WFS-nexus solutions. The project brings together researchers and societal partners to employ a mixture of technical, traditional, and contemporary knowledge practices for studying climate change adaptation through a long-term perspective.
Five inter-related work packages studying the WFS-nexus of the island(er)s will adopt a transdisciplinary research design including: archaeology, paleoecology, (paleo)ethnobotany, social-cultural anthropology, visual arts, performance arts, political science, urban design, urban planning, governance and policy sciences, legal studies, architecture, and civil engineering.
A trans-Atlantic academic platform will be developed fostering research-based education on climate challenges for the six islands. Moreover, a regional expertise center on climate challenges, where the Dutch Caribbean researchers can find employ, is one of the end objectives of this program. This center will work towards this integration by offering joint courses in cooperation with institutes in the region and the wider Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Island(er)s at the Helm is funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) Caribbean Research programme. The host institute for this project is the Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV/KNAW), in collaboration with the University of St. Martin and the University of the Virgin Islands.
Download the full project proposal for Island(er)s at the Helm here.
Dr. Francio Guadeloupe (Chair & Principal Investigator WP2)
Francio Guadeloupe (UvA/KITLV) is a senior researcher and staff member of the KITLV. A Social & Cultural Anthropologist by training, Dr. Guadeloupe has worked at all the major universities in the Netherlands. He served for four years as the President of the University of St. Martin (USM), until hurricane Irma led to the temporary closure of the institution on the bi-national island of Sint Maarten and Saint Martin. Read More.
Prof. dr. Corinne L. Hofman (co-Chair & Principal Investigator WP1)
Corinne L. Hofman (LU/KITLV) is PI of the CaribTRAILS project at the KITLV, which receives funding from the NWO Spinoza prize awarded to her in 2014. She is also Professor of Caribbean Archaeology at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University. From 2013 to 2019, Hofman was the CPI of the ERC-Synergy project NEXUS1492. Read More.
Dr. Antonio Carmona Báez (co-Applicant & Principal Investigator WP4)
Antonio Carmona Báez (USM) is a Puerto Rican political scientist specialised in International Relations and the Political Economy of Development. In 1994, he received a BA from Middlebury College, Vermont, USA where he studied International Politics and Spanish and Latin American Literature. Thereafter, he pursued his graduate degree (MA) in International Relations at the University of Amsterdam. In 2002, he earned his doctorate degree from the same university in International Relations, upon having written his dissertation Global Trends and the Remnants of Socialism: Socio-economic and Political Restructuring in Cuba. Read More.
Sharelly Emanuelson (PhD candidate)
Sharelly Emanuelson is a filmmaker, visual artist, researcher, and founder of Uniarte (art platform). She carries a BA in audiovisual media and MA in artistic research. For her films and installations between 2010 and 2021 she has been widely recognized with screenings, prizes and grants in local, regional, and international festivals and institutes. As a part of Islander(s) at the Helm, Sharelly Emanuelson will conduct ethnographic research from a visual-anthropological perspective, focused on leisure. This research departs from the fact that in the Dutch Caribbean there is a longer trajectory where people are not only faced with natural disasters, but also economic and social repression (the coloniality of disaster) and those circumstances have led to an importance of leisure time as moments of freedom. Emanuelson will conduct multi-sited fieldwork in spaces and places of leisure on four the six Dutch Caribbean islands.
Harold Kelly (PhD candidate)
Harold Kelly graduated with a doctorate at the Leiden University in 2003. Since then, he has been working as an archaeologist at the National Archaeological Museum Aruba and has also served as a deputy director of the museum between 2007 and 2013. In context of Island(er)s at the Helm, Kelly will be looking at long-term evidence for social adaptations to habitation and climatic challenges in Aruba, Bonaire, and Sint Maarten, from an archaeological perspective. The islands will serve as case studies to examine how islanders coped with challenges that negatively impacted their water and food resources and influenced their settlement location and house structures. Coping mechanisms identified within the archaeological record will contribute to the development of innovative sustainable solutions within the Islanders at the Helm project to mitigate climatic challenges faced today.
Lysanne Charles (PhD candidate)
Lysanne Charles is an artist, educator and activist whose work has centered on empowerment of marginalized groups across issues using tools in education, the arts and activism. She is a native of the Dutch Caribbean islands of Saba and St. Maarten, with family ties to St. Eustatius, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba. Lysanne has bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina Pembroke and masters degrees in Sociology and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam Graduate Schools of Science. In the past she worked as an Instructor of Caribbean Studies, Caribbean History and Social Studies and was employed as a civil servant for the Government of Sint Maarten in the areas of policy development and implementation. As a part of Islander(s) at the Helm, Lysanne Charles will utilize a transdisciplinary approach to analyze and bring together stakeholders from government and the community in order to co-create a viable and sustainable policies and strategies roadmap in order to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the SSS islands. Charles’ research project is entitled, “Community Engagement in Sustainable Governance: The Co-creation of Climate Policy on St. Martin, Saba and St. Eustatius” and she will be based at the University of St. Martin.
Emma de Mooij (Project Manager)
Emma de Mooij (RMA) studied Caribbean Archaeology at Leiden University. Alongside managing the Island(er)s a the Helm project, she is also coordinator for the CaribTRAILS project, also at KITLV.
Tibisay Sankatsing Nava (Science Communication & Community Engagement Coordinator)
Tibisay Sankatsing Nava is community engagement coordinator for the Island(er)s at the Helm project. She is also a PhD candidate; her research focuses on the co-creation of heritage research with Caribbean island communities.
SEPT 2021 – Twenty organizations participate in Island(er)s at the Helm’s first stakeholder meeting
On 14 September 2021, the Island(er)s at the Helm program hosted its first Kingdom-wide event with societal partners and other stakeholders. This meeting is the start of a five-year collaboration that brings together researchers and societal partners to use technical, traditional, and contemporary knowledge practices to study climate change adaptation. Working closely together, the Island(er)s at the Helm program will co-create sustainable and inclusive solutions for social adaptation to climate challenges in the (Dutch) Caribbean. Read more.
JULY 2021 – Three Dutch Caribbean PhD candidates in the NWO Island(er)s at the Helm project.
True to the name and their promise, the Island(er)s at the Helm project, funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) programme Caribbean Research: A Multidisciplinary Approach, is employing CAS and BES islands researchers. Harold Kelly (Aruba), Lysanne Charles (Saba/St. Maarten), and Sharelly Emanuelson (Curaçao/Aruba) will be appointed from the 1st of September 2021 to work for four years on their PhD projects in relation to preparing the six Dutch Antillean islands for impending climate challenges. Read more.
JANUARY 2021 – ‘Island(er)s at the Helm’ awarded with funding from the NWO Caribbean Research programme
On January 7th Minister van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science of The Netherlands announced that the project Island(er)s at the Helm: Co-creating sustainable and inclusive solutions for social adaptation to climate challenges in the (Dutch) Caribbean is one of two projects awarded with funding from the NWO Caribbean Research programme. Read more.
APRIL 2020 – Island(er)s at the Helm Public Outreach Seminars
In preparation of a proposal for the Dutch Research Council’s (NWO) call for Caribbean multi-disciplinary research, Corinne Hofman (LU/KITLV) and Francio Guadeloupe (UvA/KITLV) visited the six Dutch Caribbean islands together with a team of researchers and societal partners to discuss their proposal on social adaptation to climate change challenges in the (Dutch) Caribbean with local stakeholders. Read more.
Daily Herald. Print. Islanders at the Helm’s first meeting on need for climate change adaption. 21
Saint Martin News Network. Twenty organizations participate in Island(er)s at the Helm’s first stakeholder meeting.
Telearuba. Arkeologo Harold Kelly di MANA candidato pa bay haci su doctorado/PhD. 15 July 2021.
Koninkrijk.nu. Week van het Caribisch Onderzoek: Onderzoek verbindt het Koninkrijk. 15 June 2021.
NWO Onderzoeksmagazine, rubriek Opgemerkt door Carel Stolker, ‘Klimaatadaptatie in de (voormalige) Nederlandse Cariben‘, 15 April 2021
Universiteit Leiden, ‘Embedding scientific research in the Caribbean with funding from NWO‘, 17 February 2021
24 Ora, ‘PROGRAMA “ISLEÑONAN NA TIMON” A HAYA FONDO DI E PROGRAMA DI INVESTIGACION CARIBENSE ‘NWO’‘, 11 February 2021
DCNA Nature. Island(er)s at the Helm awarded with funding from the NWO Caribbean Research programme. 9 February 2021.
Visit Aruba News, ‘Island(er)s at the Helm awarded funding from NWO‘, 10 February 2021
The Daily Herald, ‘Island(er)s at the Helm awarded funding from NWO‘, 10 February 2021
Curacao Chronicle, ‘Island(er)s at the Helm awarded funding from NWO‘, 10 February 2021
Saba-News, ‘“Island(er)s at the Helm” awarded with funding from the NWO Caribbean Research Program‘, 9 February 2021
UNESCO Nederland, ‘Miljoenensteun voor onderzoek naar erfgoed en klimaatverandering in de Cariben‘, 15 January 2021
The Daily Herald, ‘Guadeloupe to co-chair research into climate resiliency at USM‘, 11 January 2021
Sint Maarten Agriculture, ‘Caribbean Research Program Chair assigned to Francio Guadeloupe‘, 9 January 2021
SXM Talks, ‘Caribbean Research Programme chair assigned to Francio Guadeloupe‘, 9 January 2021
Saint Martin News Network, ‘Caribbean Research Programme chair assigned to Francio Guadeloupe‘, 9 January 2021
Paradise FM, ‘7 miljoen euro voor Caribische projecten‘, 7 January 2021
Universiteit van Amsterdam, ‘Grote impuls voor Uva-onderzoek in Cariben‘, 7 January 2021
Saba-News, “Caribbean Research Program receives boost of more than 7 million euros“, 7 January 2021
NWO, “Island(er)s at the Helm awarded with funding from the NWO Caribbean Research programme“, 7 January 2021
Project Newsletter, “Island(er)s at the Helm Public Outreach Seminars“, 31 March 2020
Xiomara Balentina, “The Western University in ‘Exotic Spaces’“, March 2020
Radiostation Nos Mainta interviews Francio Guadeloupe, Corinne Hofman, and Harold Kelly, March 2020 (01:06:38)
Amigoe, ‘Leren van tradities om weerbaarder te worden bij klimaatverandering‘, 14 March 2020
Amigoe, ‘Onderzoek naar impact klimaatverandering op erfgoed‘, 12 March 2020
24ora.com reports ‘Museo arkeologico a duna charla con antropologia y arkeologia ta combina cu cambio climatico‘, 12 March 2020
24ora.com, ‘Seminario Consultivato Na Mana Riba Rentonan Di Cambio Di Clima Den Caribe’, 11 March 2020
Saba News, ‘Discussion on “Sustainable Solutions for Climate Challenges in the Dutch Caribbean”‘, 6 March 2020
The Daily Herald, ‘Post-coloniality and decoloniality central at academic symposium‘, 29 February 2020
The Daily Herald, ‘USM to host researchers of climate change vulnerability’, 28 February 2020
Island(er)s at the Helm is hosted by the Koninklijk Instituut van Taal, Land en Volkenkunde (KITLV/KNAW), the University of St. Martin and the University of the Virgin Islands.
The project also works closely together with a wide range of societal partners including non-governmental organizations, government and industry representatives from the Dutch Caribbean islands and the Netherlands.
Island(er)s at the Helm is funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) Caribbean Research programme.