Me sampling the Arctic with ArcticNet colleagues, including my boss Louis Fortier. Photo courtesy of Keith Levesque.

My whole life now revolves around the Arctic. I often think to myself, what will the Arctic look in 50 years? I’m not overwhelmed with confidence when I think like this.

I have set up this site to talk about the amazing experiences that continue to happen in my life, and to engage in a discussion with readers on science and climate change issues.
I feel like the subject of climate change is often dealt with badly. It’s something that affects EVERYONE; there are so many stakeholders in this, and everyone has an opinion. Rising sea levels and warming temperatures do not pick on people differentially depending on level of understanding of the issues, background or even bank balance.
The situation right now means that major decisions on climate change issues are made by politicians. But these guys often don’t know much about the subject (what climate change is, what are the repercussions). What’s more than that is that they’re never going to support a decision if their electorate don’t – a politician’s job is to keep the people that keep them in office, happy. That makes it awkward that politicians have more of a voice than the average scientist, who may have spent years researching the topic. And The media – well that’s The media.
The general public care about their future, how their world will change, but there are a lot of other problems in the world too, climate change is just one.
The climate scientist is stuck in the middle. We do our work – which is often very time-consuming and requires a wide range of skills – but we enjoy doing it. We produce papers at the end of the day about how something (e.g. the behaviour of an animal, the acidity of the oceans etc.) might change in the years to come, and we hypothesise on why that’s important. But normally we write these papers in a scientific manner and most people can’t understand them.
To me, good science communication is a massive part being a scientist. I’ve always worked hard at giving good presentations that people will remember. I’ve presented the risks of climate change to Arctic whales to a general audience, and later visited my neighbour’s 6 year old daughter’s school to talk to her class about Arctic animals.
Welcome to I feel I’ve learnt a lot about climate change in the last few years, but I’ve still got lots to learn, and I consider myself pretty receptive to different points of view.
At big polar conferences, there are now a lot of teachers and non-scientists who might not know much about climate change, but they want to find out, so they can pass on the message. We’re all in this together!
With this site, I would like to share with you my experiences and education, as well as create a forum for discussion on issues that it’s time to talk about…
Stay tuned,