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Programme Coordinator, Cryosphere Initiative,
River Basins and Cryosphere
My role is to lead the Cryosphere Initiative’s different activities concerning the cryosphere and linkages in several countries. I coordinate the work between different groups at ICIMOD and our external partners and also promote capacity building as much as possible.
How do you protect the pulse of the planet?
I contribute by ensuring our work is of high quality and our results are disseminated. It is not enough to study the cryosphere, how it is changing, and the effect of these changes. This information then needs to be communicated to those people who are affected by these change as well as to policymakers.
What is your favorite part of the work you do at ICIMOD?
The variety of the work at ICIMOD means there is always something new. I love the opportunity to do most of my work in a team, with talented colleagues from many different countries with a broad range of expertise. I feel every day that we are working together towards a common goal.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate the cryosphere – glaciers, snow, ice, and permafrost. I love snow and ice, and spending time in a mountain or polar environment. Much of the cryosphere is quite inaccessible but changes in it can have effects over a wide area.
At university, I studied mathematics and astronomy, but after getting my BSc (Hons) at University College London, I became interested in glaciology and took an MS in geosciences at the Byrd Polar Research Centre in Ohio, followed by a PhD in geophysics at California Institute of Technology (Caltech). My masters and PhD both involved studying the dynamics of Whillans ice stream and entailed a lot of fieldwork in Antarctica.
After graduating, I moved back to Europe and worked at the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, where I was responsible for the Svartisen Subglacial Laboratory and GLOFs in Norway. I also worked in High Mountain Asia, including initiating mass balance measurements in Bhutan at Thana Glacier, and led INDICE, a joint Norwegian-Indian project that studied the response of the hydrological system in India to climate change.
In 2019, I was lead author in Chapter 2: High Mountain Areas in the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC).