top of page

Coastal Policy and Humanities Research is a consulting company undertaking innovative cross-disciplinary research on current environmental problems facing coasts and oceans. The capacity of the ocean to support lives and livelihoods is both enabled and and impacted by complex ecological, societal, economic and cultural interactions. Our research work is based on a belief that ocean and coastal policies need to be based on sounds science and/or traditional knowledge, but will also benefit from insights and solutions based on other disciplines, including social sciences, environmental humanities and the arts. Through collaboration across disciplines and cultures, Coastal Policy and Humanities Research seeks to provide locally-appropriate solutions in a global context.



Founder & Director

Marjo Vierros
Suzanne von der Porten

Research Consultant

Marjo Vierros is the director of Coastal Policy and Humanities Research. She is also a senior associate at the Global Ocean Forum, a past visiting fellow at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia, and formerly an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and its Traditional Knowledge Initiative. In this capacity, she has developed an oceans-related programme for UNU-IAS with a focus on global ocean governance and marine biocultural diversity. She has worked for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Environment Programme in the Wider Caribbean Region, and has held research positions at the University of Miami, the University of California at Santa Cruz and the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. She has extensive experience in marine policy, tropical marine ecology and coastal management in the Caribbean, Central America, Bermuda and the Pacific.

Suzanne von der Porten is a consultant with expertise in Indigenous governance, water, marine policy and environmental governance. Her postdoctoral research at Simon Fraser University, Canada, focused on the changing roles of Indigenous coastal nations, governments, and industry in relation to marine conservation. Suzanne a Ph.D. in Environment and Resource Studies from the University of Waterloo, and a B.Sc. and an MBA from the University of Victoria. She is a Research Associate with the Nereus Program at the University of British Columbia, an Action Canada Fellowship Program Alumnus (2010/2011), and she teaches as a “Visiting Tutor” at Quest University Canada. Both her consulting and research work toward improving the state of environmental decision-making and the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples. In a former life, she spent three years working as a helitack forest fire fighter in northern British Columbia, and later worked as a Fire Information Officer doing media relations for the BC Wildfire Service.

© 2017 by Coastal Policy and Humanities Research

bottom of page