After a year’s hiatus the Judah Folkman MD Scientist in Residence Program returned with a focus on climate change. The focus of the annual science program is decided by high school science students and faculty.
The 2021 program was held on October 6 and began with a virtual talk by Kale Williams, a science reporter for The Oregonian and author of The Loneliest Polar Bear. Williams described the lives of native Alaskans who live on the westernmost tip of Alaska and who depend upon subsistence hunting for survival. One of those native hunters, who fell into a polar bear den, was responsible for starting the saga of Nora, the polar bear who was born and then abandoned by her mother at the Columbus Zoo. After being hand raised at the Columbus Zoo, Nora is currently residing at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, Oregon.
Williams described the changes to the native Alaskan way of life caused by climate change as well as the changes being experienced by different polar bear populations. Following Williams’ talk, three researchers from Ohio State’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, Emilio Mateo, Kara Lamantia and Santiago de la Pena Rodriguez presented their various research projects to students in the high school science classrooms. Mateo researches the hydrological processes of mountainous regions that contain glaciers, such as Peru, Chile, and the western United States. Lamantia’s research interests include Glaciology and Remote Sensing. Santiago’s research focuses on ice sheet dynamics and surface mass balance in Greenland and Antarctica.
The Folkman Scientist in Residence Program is funded by the BEF’s Dr. Judah Folkman (Class of 1950) Endowment Fund.