Laura Ferguson

Current affiliation:

 Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), University of the Highlands and Islands

Funding: Scottish Arctic Club

Keywords: culture; heritage; tourism; coastal; Longyearbyen; planning; risk; preservation



Longyearbyen’s Coal Mining Heritage: For Town and For Tourism

This project’s remit covered the tangible and intangible coal mining heritage in Longyearbyen, its future preservation and development, and how it is situated in the context of industrial heritage in the wider Arctic region.  It was a small research project, part-funded by the Scottish Arctic Club. Project work consisted of three parts: (i) attitudes of residents and visitors towards Longyearbyen’s coal mining heritage; (ii) the insights of heritage professionals regarding the conservation and development of Arctic industrial heritage and Longyearbyen’s coal mining heritage in particular; and (iii) analysis of risks to cultural heritage in the Longyearbyen area by combining quantitative modelling with qualitative field data.  It is hoped the data from parts (i) and (ii) in particular will feed into a larger project on Arctic industrial heritage in future.

Focus of Current Research

Laura is employed as a research associate at the Scottish Association for Marine Science, where she works across a range of projects with social science elements, specialising in policy and stakeholder engagement.  She is continuing to develop her Arctic interests at SAMS, working with colleagues on Arctic project proposals, and hopes to be in a position to contribute to a new project in Svalbard in 2022.