Female scientists in their way to Antarctica
As part of the Homeward Bound initiative more than 70 female scientists from around the world are travelling to Antarctica with the objective of battling climate change. The Australian initiative is aimed at increasing the female representation in science and will be the largest ever all-women expedition to Antarctica.
The 76 scientists were chosen from more than 1000 applicants all with critical science backgrounds. They will be undertaking a year-long- program to develop their leadership and strategic capabilities. They are trained to observe the effect of climate change on the Earth’s poles.
Last Friday the group departed from Ushuaia in Argentina and they’ll be spending about 20 days at sea. A faculty of experts will be on board to manage the program. While they’re at sea they’ll be part of a series of leaderships workshops to cover topics such as emotional intelligence, managing difficult conversations and influencing decisions.
The expedition is privately funded, and each of the participants is paying for their own travel and accommodation on the boat. Also applications for the next expedition planned for 2018 will open next January.
The initiative only takes women because they believe women are “unrepresented in leadership and change has been incredibly slow, despite increasing dialogue and process/systems changes.”
“By giving these women the leadership and strategic skills, a sound understanding of the science, and a strong purposefully developed network they will be able to impact policy and decisions towards a sustainable future,” reads the initiative’s webpage.
This will be important as predictions from the US environmental Agency (EPA) the ocean levels are expected to rise between 2.5 and 6.5 feet by 2100. This will be enough to swamp many cities along the coast. Also estimates show, if the Greenland ice sheet melts sea levels could rise up to 23 feet, enough to swamp cities like London.