Milena Stoilova

UAUCU Student Research Exchange Collected Papers 2022 (vol 7)

Introduction to the seventh edition of the UAUCU Student Research Exchange Collected Papers

This volume includes research reports and personal reflections written by the 2022 participants of the UAUCU student research exchange program. This year’s studentresearchers are 17 students from the University of Aruba and Utrecht University, six from UA’s Sustainable Islands through STEM (SISSTEM) program and 11 from UU’s University College Utrecht. They have been working on research in and about Aruba, and supporting each other in that process. Their texts reflect the fundamental aims that the program has had since its inception in 2015: to challenge students to engage actively not only with the content of research, but with each other and the world at large. These challenges, and the rewards of meeting them, are reflected in the personal reflections that contributors to this volume have written as a preface to the summary of their own research.

As in previous editions, the topics of the students’ research are wide-ranging, drawing on the diverse backgrounds of their study programs, and yet all related to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 agenda. The works included here treat, for example, issues of sustainability in tourism and in transportation, coastal ecologies, public participation, food security & food sovereignty, science communication, biodiversity, vertical farming, circularity and waste. The type of research ranges from studies on governance to studies on technology and engineering, anthropology, geology and sociology. We think that the papers also show how participation in a diverse team influenced the authors’ approach to their work. The students provided each other with feedback on approaches to their research, and on the content, style, language and structure of their papers. The papers appear as submitted by the authors, including the occasional raw opinion or as yet underdeveloped conclusion. Some of the contributions reflect completed studies, others are preparatory explorations. Most of the student-researchers are still working on interpretation and presentation of their findings and will finalize these soon in bachelor theses based on the results of the projects presented here.

The 2022 program nevertheless differs from the earlier cycles. The student-researchers taking part find themselves on an island, and in a world, changed by the COVID19 pandemic. We program coordinators have also re-booted the research exchange in a new form, after a year of hiatus forced by lockdowns around the world. The students from Utrecht prepared in November and December for their participation in a renewed preparatory module (Community-engaged research in the Caribbean), and joined the UA students in a new bachelor course at SISSTEM (Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to sustainable development in small island states). Together in a classroom at UA, they defined their guiding principles and goals for their participation in the project. These ideas reflect their hopes of working in ways that could be meaningful to others as well as to themselves.

A range of people have also made crucial contributions to the students’ success, this year as in 2020 and earlier. We, and our students, appreciate the importance and power of their input to this project as a whole. We especially want to thank UA’s Carlos Rodriguez-Iglesias for his help in proofreading the papers in preparing them for publication here and for, together with Tobia de Scisciolo, fostering the collaboration between the UAUCU students and the Academic Foundation Year students in the Research Aruba Program. There are, in addition, many others who have had roles as guides, lecturers, mentors, advisors, facilitators, respondents, interview participants, and engaged citizens: thank you! We hope that you have anticipated work presented in this volume as eagerly as we.


Milena Stoilova

Sustainable tourism in Aruba: a myth or reality? A case study from the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort

Klara Röhrs

Remembering the Coast: Assessing the coastline and coastal changes on Aruba by using volunteered geographic information (VGI)

Carlotta M. Henning

Learning to play it by ear: Understanding barriers to public participation in urban planning on Aruba

Karlijn van der Loo

If the Ship Stops Sailing: How can food sovereignty in Aruba be protected in public policy and developed as a notion in international human rights law?

Lynn Smeets

Impacting the island’s future: an insight into the effect of perceived efficacy of young Arubans on their civic and political engagement in environmental action

Maro A. Savvides

Communicating the Geologic History of Aruba: Contextualizing Gold and Incorporating Human Activity as a Geologic Force

Joao Wendrich Teixeira

Winds of change in Aruba: a Push For The Return of higher Biodiversity

Tracy van der Biezen

How citizen science can contribute to Aruba’s SDG indicators: Creating a framework for meta-analysis

Endy Brooks

SIDS vertical farming: water- and energy assessment on Albion strawberry production in Aruba

Nigel de Cuba

The challenges of implementing circularity in the flow of waste tyres on Aruba

Alejandra Moreno

Food security perceived by Aruban households

Armand Kelly

Electrification of airside equipment at Aruba Airport Authority

Rachel Nel

Fostering community stewardship: The role of sense of place in participation in environmental initiatives

Sophia Klaußner

Water = Water, right? Comparing wetlands on the island of Aruba to determine influences of wastewater effluents on the water quality of a wetland area

Laura Mathieu

Breathing Unevenly: Community Response to Environmental Injustice. A case study of Aruba’s Landfill and the Parkietenbos community

Michel Frank

Citizen science, a tool to fill the plastic waste data gap in Aruba

Daniel Balutowski

Brown Tides: Assessing the Past, Present, & Future State of Sargassum in Aruba

Data type
Research report
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location