Sappho Gilbert, MPH is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health and a Pre-Doctoral Fellow of the Yale Climate Change and Health Initiative. Her research interests include circumpolar community health, food security, nutrition, public policy, and climate change. Thanks to a Yale Women Faculty Forum (WFF) grant, Sappho and her local research partners in Nunavut, Canada were able to validate preliminary findings from their qualitative study of the community health effects and adaptations experienced during leaner times of traditional food harvest. Prior to her studies at Yale, Sappho worked at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics on multi-year National Institutes of Health and Wellcome Trust grants mapping the safe, ethical inclusion of pregnant women in the HIV/AIDS and Zika clinical research pipelines. Sappho earned her Master’s in Public Health from Dartmouth and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in political science.
Grant Title: “Participant & community validation in a qualitative food security study in two Inuit communities in Nunavut, Canada”
Abstract: Climate change and non-climatic forces are imperiling harvest in the predominantly Inuit Canadian territory of Nunavut, leading to “bad” years or harvest of traditional foods like narwhal, caribou, and polar bear. This qualitative study aims to examine the drivers, effects, and coping strategies associated with these leaner times. In particular, one of the themes that has emerged in preliminary analysis is the vulnerability of key subpopulations, including elders, single parents (mostly women), and widows. Our next step in this locally-partnered project is to conduct respondent and community validation to ensure appropriate and accurate representation and identify actionable opportunities for supporting communities and harvesters during “bad” seasons or years.