Science Festival interview with Dr Sian Henley
Dr Sian Henley, a Research Fellow in the School of GeoSciences, studies some of the most hostile environments on Earth - the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. Dr Henley and a team of volunteers from the UK polar science community will share their experiences at Meet the Polar Scientists, a drop-in event for families.
What do you hope people will get out of taking part in your event?
I hope the audience will learn something they didn't know about climate change, and why the polar regions are particularly vulnerable and important. Perhaps more importantly, I hope people will go away with an appreciation and a respect for these fragile yet beautiful environments, and be inspired to do what they can to protect them.
What are the best and worst aspects of working in a polar region?
The best thing about my research is being able to go to beautiful places, to work on fascinating science and being inspired by the environment and by outstanding colleagues. The worst, however, is dealing with very rough ocean conditions in the dark and cold of the Arctic winter.
How do you hope young people will benefit from hearing about your research?
I hope young people coming along to the event will be excited by the wonders of the polar regions. I hope they will be inspired to look after the environment in any way they can, and maybe even be tempted to become the polar scientists of the future!
What are the greatest challenges for the future of polar environments?
These regions are facing direct human exploitation by fishing, shipping and resource extraction, and pollution. The indirect human impacts of climate change and ocean acidification are also very challenging.
What has inspired you to take part in the Science Festival?
I am inspired by the opportunity to mix with members of the public, young and old, and from all walks of life. Sharing ideas with non-scientists is often enlightening, inspiring, informative and great fun, hopefully for all involved!
It is a drop-in event between 10am and 4pm at the Startosphere at Our Dynamic Earth.