Friday, May 31, 2013

Geography student continues learning in Norway

David Broome
David Broome,a senior geography student with SNRAS, is expanding his horizons on a semester exchange in Tromso, Norway.

It's a good fit for Broome. One of the first things he did when arriving at UAF was to attend a meeting about international studies. "Studying abroad has allowed me to live in this space and develop my mind in a new environment that I have dreamed of for many, many years," Broome said. "It has been incredible."

Broome's Norway experiences have been a whirlwind of classes, international dinners, hockey training eight times a week, visiting the sauna frequently, aurora hunting, ski trips to the fjordland mountains every weekend and a lot of time to think

Broome, who grew up in Colorado and Chicago, fell in love with the American West in his late teens. After becoming savvy with Google Earth, he traveled to some of the most magical places on Earth. "It was necessary for my mental health and I have no doubt that it saved my life," Broome said. "It cemented the foundation of all the photography and travel I do today."

He finds geography a fascinating subject. "It often seems as if it has a profound connection with all that has to do with Earth and humanity," Broome said. He chose geography because he wanted to dive into something colorful and interesting. "I came to college for an education and development of the mind and I believe that I have gotten far more than I could have ever asked for.

"I often feel as if I owe everything in my life today to the University of Alaska."

The greatest value Broome has gotten from his college experience is how travel has broadened his horizons and perspectives. He also has an amazing collection of photographs (he calls it his "geographic data") from all over the world. In fact, photography may become his career. "My only real goal for the future is to use my short life for a contribution to some greater universal good," he said. "Whether that be using my photography to influence minds which will inadvertently contribute to the preservation of intrinsic values that may exist or whether it be to inspire others in virtuous ways or if I can just contribute to some sort of social value by making people smile or showing how perfect and beautiful their world is."

While in Norway, Broome traveled to Paris and northern Russia. He even went to Svalbard, Norway, where he met baby polar bears. "Looking back on it all, I feel like I have spent most of my time playing hockey, meeting amazing people from around the world, falling for a beautiful Russian girl and doing tons of photography," Broome said. "It has been an amazing and unspeakably bewildering experience."

Broome plays for a Tromso hockey team in an international league. The sport has been part of his life since he was 4. Despite numerous injuries, including multiple concussions, a broken left shoulder and a compound fracture on the right shoulder, Broome said hockey runs in his blood. "I have come to learn that people tend to stick with the world, rituals and traditions that they know," he said.

He enjoys travel, photography, hockey, playing the guitar, listening to and creating music and spending time with loved ones. Music is an important component of his life. "I have always been around music and I grew up playing the guitar," he said. He also plays the piano and drums even though he doesn't read sheet music. As a teenager he performed at bars, clubs and events in Florida, Chicago and Colorado. He went through a goth period for several years. "It was a fun time," he said. "It's funny to look back on the little kid doing such things."

After college he hopes to invest in good software and equipment and try to put together the very first American Folk Metal music project, themed on the American West in the mid to late 19th century. "There's not much room left for innovative creativity in the world today but an American Folk Metal music project has never been done before and it's only a matter of time. By the time I am an old man, I am sure that there will be some Spaghetti Western Folk Metal bands and I don't want to miss my opportunity to pioneer it."

A selection of Broome's photos:

Skiing Up Kjølen, Above The Fjordland, Kvaløya, Troms County, Norway

Reindeer, Kvaløya, Troms County, Norway

Mountains Over Tromsø, Troms County, Norway

Nordic Winter Night, Aurora Borealis, Above Hillesøy Church, Brensholmen, Kvaløya, Troms County, Norway

More of David Broome's photos can be viewed here.

Listen to his music here.

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