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Martin Jeffries

Photo Martin JeffriesI'm a geographer by training and inclination, and an 'accidental geophysicist' by employment at the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks. My love of geography and the physical environment was inspired as a teenager by Mr. Levy, a geography teacher at Sale Boys Grammar School near Manchester, UK. Later, learning about glaciers and landscape from Professor Waters at the University of Sheffield, UK, encouraged me to pursue graduate studies and employment in the world of ice science. As a graduate student at the Victoria University of Manchester I studied glacier hydrology and learned to cross-country ski (it was the only way to get to work) in Norway. Then, as a graduate student at the University of Calgary, and subsequently as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I studied ice shelves and ice islands (tabular icebergs) in the High Arctic of Canada. I went to Alaska in 1985 and, to my surprise, stayed for 21 years. During that time I visited many interesting places and conducted many interesting investigations, but there are two particular highlights: (1) visiting Antarctica nine times to study sea ice, mostly aboard ship in the pack ice that was often alive with penguins, seals, and whales; and (2) creating ALISON (Alaska Lake Ice and Snow Observatory Network: www.gi.alaska.edu/alison) to learn about snow depth, ice thickness and conductive heat flow around Alaska by providing place-based, experiential learning opportunities for K-12 teachers and students. I remain on the faculty of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, but since late 2006 I have lived in Washington, DC, while working on secondment, first at the National Science Foundation, and, currently at the Office of Naval Research.