Northern Soundings: Girls on Ice, Winterberry and katexic

Oct 20, 2017

Credit Joanna Young

This episode we look at some of the barriers to science for women, for kids and for the average citizen. Later in the show, we’ll talk with University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist Katie Spellman about recruiting berry-pickers for the Winterberry project. And word-maven Chris Lott will join us for a new feature that celebrates some of the intriguing terms that enrich our common tongue. This episode he brings us a word describing the actions of glaciers. I’m sorry to report, this feature failed to air on KUAC because of pledge week mayhem. So, for my podcast listeners it represents added content. More information on Chris and his always entertaining blog can be found at

First, almost two decades ago, a grad student studying glaciers in Washington State thought about empowering teenage girls to explore science by participating in a field expedition. From the notion arose the Girls on Ice Program. The founder Dr. Erin Pettit is a glaciologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. And, during the 18 years since its birth, the program has grown and drawn on the skills and talents of other researchers. Two of them also work and study at UAF and I invited them into the studio to describe the program and the challenges of attracting and keeping women in the sciences.

Claudine Hauri is Research Assistant Professor in Chemical Oceanography at the International Arctic Research Center.

And Joanna Young is research assistant and doctoral student in glaciology at UAF’s Geophysical Institute.

I began our discussion by asking what they looked for in a site when leading the girls on an expedition.

Note: because this episode aired during pledge week, it’s shorter than an hour

Here is a link to the show at Northern Soundings.