SSI Fellow Isla Myers-Smith one of National Geographic's changemakers fighting for the planet

Posted by j.laird on 3 December 2021 - 9:30am
Isla Myers-Smith
Isla Myers-Smith

National Geographic have announced their 26 changemakers fighting for the planet, including SSI Fellow Isla Myers-Smith.

The list recognises individuals, organisations and foundations that are mobilising, researching, innovating and funding the path to a brighter future for the world. SSI Fellow Isla Myers-Smith, a field ecologist and data scientist, is listed alongside the likes of Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough!

Her profile in the National Geographic list of changemakers says:

The change in vegetation systems in the Arctic tundra is a critical bell-weather for large scale changes in the world’s climate – and with wildfires in Siberia and the circumpolar large-scale thawing of permafrost – essentially the locker of some of the world’s most dense carbon deposits – it’s an area of critical understanding when it comes to climate change. National Geographic Explorer and University of Edinburgh Chancellor’s Fellow Isla Myers-Smith’s research centres around what is considered one of the most visible signs of climate change – the so-called ‘greening’ of the Arctic.

Use of technology such as drones and satellite observations to track changes in vegetation cover is allowing scientists like Myers-Smith further understanding of the changes that could affect the balance between natural carbon storage and its release into the atmosphere, with potentially devastating consequences. 

Isla works with collaborator SSI Fellow Gergana Daskalova on the Coding Club initiative which teaches data science skills in an open and accessible way. Their Twitter  @our_codingclub just reached 6,000 followers and the Coding Club website has over one million users. Isla said:

It is pretty reaffirming to hear about the impact that things like Coding Club and other SSI initiatives can have!

See the full list of National Geographic changemakers.

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