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Meet Polar Change Maker Kimberly Aiken

What does it take to encourage young women and people of color to enter polar careers? On this episode of the Adventures in Learning Podcast, we meet Kimberly Aiken, a PhD student at the University of Tasmania, Australia, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. Kimberly is currently undertaking a research project focused on building more diverse, equitable, and inclusive extreme and remote workforce environments. She has contributed to several outreach and advocacy platforms and currently co-leads the Diversity and Inclusion Community Practice Group with the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC). In this episode of the Adventures in Learning podcast, we explore challenges and joys of being a person of color in polar STEM, skills and ideas necessary for engaging students, classrooms, and families in the polar regions, strategies for holding up diverse role models for children interested in STEM careers, and, of course, the mighty krill. You can listen or watch below, using the following approximate timestamps.

  • 1:30: Kimberly's untraditional pathway into Polar STEM/STEAM

  • 22:43: Carrying the weight of being a person of color in the polar world

  • 24:34 Covid and new directions

  • 27:33 Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition

  • 31:00 PhD work

  • 37:52 Intersectionality and polar work

  • 41:45: Impact of mental health and well-being on research

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  • 46:16: Preparing children, teachers, and families for jobs that don't exist yet in a world of climate change

  • 54:35: Building strong 21st century learning skills

  • 56:32: Polar STEAM program and other resources for educators

  • 1:01:04: Real world examples of building Polar connections in classrooms

  • 1:05:01: Intersectionality and offering kids diverse role models in polar jobs

  • 1:08:48: Strategies and ideas to help educators and families get started in polar protection and climate change learning

  • 1:16:01: Coolest polar experience to date

  • 1:18:20: Hope in a changing world

  • 1:23:01: Tale of the mighty krill

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