GEM Scientist of the Month - February

2019.02.18 | Marie Frost Arndal

Charlotte can celebrate her 20th anniversary within the GEM GeoBasis programme in 2019.

Charlotte Sigsgaard is a physical geographer in the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at University of Copenhagen. Charlotte can celebrate 20 years anniversary with GEM this year - she first got in contact with GEM in 1999 as a GeoBasis field assistant in Zackenberg – not expecting to be involved in the same business 20 years later.  Since 2013 Charlotte has mainly worked on the GeoBasis monitoring programme at Arctic Station, Disko. 

 “I got hooked on this monitoring approach where we collect data from a variety of parameters within an Arctic Ecosystem and obtain a fantastic platform/baseline for studying climate impacts and changes.”Her current research and GEM involvement includes monitoring, in particular for the subprogram GeoBasis which focus on variables like snow- and soil properties, greenhouse gas exchange and hydrology (fresh water and sediment transport) at Disko, now one of the GEM main sites. Her job combines fieldwork and validating data before being reported to the public GEM database (http://data.g-e-m.dk/). For the future she would like to see a higher prioritization of long-term monitoring programs like GEM.

Charlottes motivation for working for GEM lies in the fieldwork, where observations in the field facilitate the following validation work of the collected data. Being part of a program involving many different disciplines comes with the opportunities to meet and collaborate with students, researchers and technicians from various countries and research areas.

“And not the least, it is such a privilege to work in these amazing surroundings in Greenland.” As fieldwork in the Arctic comes with extreme conditions and many unknown factors to be prepared for, one of Charlotte’s most memorable experiences paints a wild picture: “It was in 2007 in Zackenberg when we went into a small stream to carry out discharge measurements. And suddenly we saw a wolf on the other side of the stream – maybe 15-20 meter away. First we were both thinking ‘oh there is a dog on the other side’ and then a few seconds later ‘whooow! It is not a dog …. it is a WOLF!’ It was such a fine experience and we were totally ‘high’ on the way back to the research station. These kinds of bonus experiences and close encounters are fantastic to think about during some of the more tedious work.”

For more info, contact Charlotte at: cs@ign.ku.dk, https://ign.ku.dk/

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