• joanna young


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    Science, natural history, adventure

    I am a glacier expert and outdoors addict, with a background in physics and a love of mountains - things that brought me to my current home in Alaska.


    As a postdoctoral research fellow at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I study how Alaska's glaciers are shrinking in climate change and impacting rivers, ecosystems, and communities downstream.


    I am also the Director for the Alaska programs of Inspiring Girls Expeditions, which are unique, free, science, art, and wilderness programs for youth.


    I have over a decade of experience in environmental education and science communication, and am always eager for more chances to share and inform on the beauty of glaciers and the urgency of climate change.


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    Postdoctoral research fellow at the International Arctic Research Center where I examine glacier mass loss and hydrological change in glacier watersheds, and downstream impacts. I have extensive experience in the field, both in planning and execution. I have also studied the impacts of exploring glacial landscapes on environmental identity formation in youth.

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    Director of the Alaska programs of Inspiring Girls Expeditions, including Girls on Ice Alaska, which I co-founded in 2012. Inspiring Girls Expeditions are unique, free, backcountry science programs for underserved high school female-identifying youth, focused on developing young womxn's STEM, art, wilderness travel, and leadership skills. I also conduct education research on the impacts of these expeditions.

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    Climate change communication

    I have experience working with film crews showcasing Alaska's glaciers, including an interview on CBC's The National, the German documentary Abenteuer Alaska, and the National Geographic IMAX film 'Extreme Weather.' I also regularly give interviews to journalists and filmmakers.

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    In Dec. 2016, I participated in the inaugural Homeward Bound expedition, a three-week leadership and strategic program for 78 female scientists from around the world, as featured in Marie Claire and Forbes magazines, for which I was interviewed. I tell about my experience on the program in podcasts from Expat Sandwich and My Home Planet.

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    Inclusive science

    I am deeply passionate about and active in promoting diversity and inclusivity in the sciences. I have organized and led 2-day leadership workshops for early career women in science and for improving diversity and inclusivity, for 40 participants each from around Alaska.


    My research interests include: glacio-hydrology; estimating glacier mass loss in a changing climate; applied studies on impacts of glacier loss on downstream freshwater availability and ecosystems; environmental and STEM education; science outreach and communication; justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in STEM

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    Glacier change impacts on water resources

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    Exploring glacier landscapes

    Article - Young, J. C. et al. (2020). “You really see it”: Environmental identity development through observing a climate change-impacted glacier landscape. International Journal of Science Education.


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    Consequences of glacier change for society

    Video/presentation - Young, J. C. (2020). Six surprising ways that glacier loss impacts humankind. American Geophysical Union annual meeting.

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    Glacier change monitoring in challenging environments

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    Arctic Climate Change

    Educational video, "Role of glaciers in Arctic ecosystem" - part of Massive Open Online Course through EdX "Climate Change in Arctic Environments"

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    Download MY cv

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