Michèle Koppes is honored to have been nominated by APECS to attend ICSU’s Science Visioning meeting this fall 2009. This event is part of a three-step strategic visioning process that will engage the international scientific community to identify the key research questions in Earth system science that need to be addressed over the next 10-20 years and the steps needed to answer them. The process involves both early career scientists and established leaders in the Earth system community, and will develop an interdisciplinary research strategy with strong social and economic components that is expected to have far-reaching influence on Earth system research for the next decade and beyond.
Michèle was born in Greece, grew up in Canada, Switzerland, Japan, the Philippines, and Holland, and has called the Pacific Northwest of both Canada and the USA home for the past 12 years. She did her undergraduate degrees in Geology from Williams College,US and Edinburgh University, UK, followed by a MSc. in Geology and Environmental Management and a PhD in Earth & Space Sciences at the University of Washington, US. In between her time in academia, she was a legislative fellow in the US Congress working on climate policy, through the AAAS Science and Technology Fellowship program. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Geography at the University of British Columbia in Canada.
A geologist, geomorphologist and glaciologist (she is her own 3G network!) with specific expertise in landscape evolution and glacier change as they reflect climate change, Michèle has spent over 15 years working in, on, and around current and former glaciers from the Alps to Alaska, Central Asia, Patagonia and Antarctica, studying the role glaciers play in modifying the landscape. She is currently working on a better understanding of the role of contemporary glacier change on global water resources and regional transportation networks, and the role of humans as agents of landscape change. Outside of her scientific pursuits, she is also active in enhancing communication of scientific knowledge and policy needs between the science community and policymakers. She is looking forward to the ICSU meeting and the opportunity to participate in defining an interdisciplinary vision for future research, with other scientists interested in the societal impacts on the earth system.