Let winter break. Let it burn ’til I see you again

Long time no speak! 2016 was a great year, but 2017 has been extraordinary! And the best part is that it’s not over yet. This year has been filled with new experiences, encounters, and travels. I feel luckier than ever to be able to do things I have always been dreaming of.

Among all the new adventures I got involved in this year, here are the most memorable/interesting/adventurous ones:

I started volunteering for the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative in March/April. The ICCI does science policy related to.. glaciers! I have been learning a huge amount by working with the so welcoming and caring ICCI team. Currently we are working on a project funded by the Climate and Clear Air Coalition of the UN, aiming to reduce emissions of short-lived climate forcers, and specifically black carbon through the use of wood stove. Check out our progress here.

During my time in Svalbard I was always so happy to welcome visitors to our beautiful university UNIS and tell them about the impact of climate change to my dear glaciers. At this day and age, science communication is more important than ever. It is our duty to be more approachable and to understand that publishing papers is not enough. I have never cared more about outreach and never more believed in its powers that today.

And when I got contacted by the high school of La Rochelle in France, and heard about their very ambitious scientific projects this year, I was more than happy to be their “skype scientist”, calling them every other week to challenge them to new and exciting experiments. The best part is their goal to travel to Svalbard next April, and I will have the great honor to accompany them, and tell them all about this place so dear to me.

Another awesome adventure took me to Pennsylvania this autumn! Last winter, while on Sea Spirit in Antarctica I met someone who really inspired me. Her name is Professor Hilde Binford. I had rarely met someone so driven, curious and who can make big things happen. Hilde is a Professor of Musicology at the Moravian College in PA, and started  with Dean Diane Husic, a course about climate change when none existed. And this September I got the great honor to be invited to give a series of lectures on my work as a glaciologist at the Moravian College, and also at the Moravian Academy. I had the best time the Lehigh county, met such motivated, smart and kind students and professors I which I had had during my studies! Thank you all for the fantastic time.

Finally, and I feel so proud to announce that I got the extraordinary chance to participate to two scientific documentaries for French national TV France 5! The documentaries will come out on the 12th of December, it’s all in French but tune in!! These have been such whirlwind experiences. We filmed the documentaries in two of the most beautiful, extreme and mysterious countries on Earth, Chile and Iceland. The theme is how populations have adapted to deeply challenging environments, and how scientists develop new techniques and technologies to make the most of the local conditions, no matter how hard they might be. Beyond the jaw dropping landscapes, filming the documentaries has been an extraordinary human experience, and I often think about those we met along the way, and the life lessons they shared with us. Thank you to the dream teams working on the documentaries, and congratulations for such a beautiful work.