The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) welcomes Dr Jenny Baeseman as the new director of the Cryosphere and Climate Project (CliC) that is hosted by the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromso, Norway. “We are fortunate to have Jenny as a member of CliC and WCRP”, said Dr. Ghassem R. Asrar, the Director of World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). “Jenny brings to CliC and WCRP network a wealth of knowledge on cryospheric research and education. She has been coordinating and managing the network of early career scientists in polar research as a major initiative of the International Polar Year (IPY) and its successful legacy since 2006.” Dr. Baeseman assumed the post of CliC director in April 2012.
Dr. Baeseman graduated with a B.S. from University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point (UWSP), in 1998 by earning her degree in Water Resources with a chemistry minor. As an undergraduate Jenny started her research on nitrogen in streams under the direction of the late Dr. Bryant Browne. After UWSP, she continued her training at the University of Minnesota with a M.S. in Civil Engineering, a Ph.D. also in Civil Engineering with an environmental emphasis from the University of Colorado, and postdoctoral research in Geosciences at Princeton University. Her career has literally taken her to the ends of the earth. She spent three summer seasons in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, lived in Fairbanks, Alaska and now resides in Tromsø, Norway, often referred to as the “Paris of the North”. Her research involves studying the survival mechanisms of bacteria in the ‘coolest’ environments on Earth and how we can use their unique biochemistry to benefit society.
Dr. Baeseman is the Founding Director of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), with 3300 members from 73 countries working in the Arctic and Antarctic. This organization helps to give young researchers career opportunities to increase international science efforts, trains researchers to communicate their research with society and policy makers and develops a strong network of researchers concerned about the impacts of climate change on the melting Polar Regions. TheUniversity of Tromsø and the Norwegian Research Council host the APEC international office.
Dr. Baseman has published extensively in the fields of microbial ecology, polar and climate science, and education and communication of polar science. In addition to her personal research and education experience, she is also quite knowledgeable about the activities of other international coordination bodies such as the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and Scientific Committee on Arctic Research (SCAR), and other organizations.
One of Jenny’s personal goals is to make sure everyone she meets knows that polar bears don’t eat penguins – as they live at different ends of the planet.