Social Media, 2016 – 2017
My interest in glaciology peaked quite early – I had an incredible geography teacher at secondary school who was both enthusiastic for her subject and extremely well-travelled, which make a killer combination for getting 11-year-old kids interested in a subject. When she brought out her photos of Antarctica, it was safe to say I was well and truly sucked in to the world of glaciology! My teacher was also a ‘Dr’, which I remember being very confused about when I was 11 – if my teacher was a Dr, why was she not working at a hospital saving people’s lives??? It was only when I got a bit older that I found out about PhD’s and became sold on the idea: you get to devote your time to a subject that you find interesting, travel to amazing places, and share your knowledge with other people? What was there not to like? And so at 16 I took my first step towards perusing a career in glaciology with doing A level geography and visiting my first ever glacier in Iceland; going on (an under!) a glacier for the first time was when it became clear that this is what I really wanted to do.
Fast-forward 12 years and I’m finally doing it: it’s not been an easy journey but after undertaking an undergraduate degree in Physical Geography at The University of Exeter, before then doing a Master’s degree in Glaciology at Aberystwyth University (followed by work at Fugro and the Environment Agency), I’m now in my second year of a NERC funded PhD. My PhD entails using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology to assess the relationship between glacier velocity and structural dynamics of glaciers in Greenland. My PhD ties in nicely with both my scientific interest in glacier movement, as well as my ‘tourist’ interest (which goes something like “oh wow!! Look at how pretty/ blue/ big this glacier is!!!”) in that I get to look at glacier imagery on a near daily basis!
My love of glaciers has also helped me to fulfil some of the earlier wanderlust cravings I got from my secondary school geography teacher, with me now having seen glaciers in Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Switzerland, Italy, Svalbard and Greenland! One day I would love to find my old teacher and thank her for inspiring me to take the path I have taken, but in the meantime I am hoping to inspire others about the amazing world of all things polar/ glacier through the UKPN Instagram account (@UKPolarNetwork) as well as through my own account (@chrissycat06). So if you have any interesting photos you wouldn’t mind sharing (along with a little bit of background info), please tag @UKPolarNetwork or email them to me at Christine.firstname.lastname@example.org