Antarctic program builds women science leaders

Deakin geochemist Dr Ellen Moon has been selected to visit the Antarctic for a Homeward Bound leadership program for women scientists.

Deakin University’s Dr Ellen Moon is well prepared for the icy blasts she’ll encounter over a three-week visit to the Antarctic from 15 February. Dr Moon is one of 80 women – 40 from Australia – selected from around the world to participate in a 12-month Homeward Bound international leadership initiative for women in STEMM.

Launched in 2016, the Homeward Bound program aims to achieve a 1000-strong global collaboration of women with a science background to lead, influence and contribute to policy and decision-making, as it informs the future of the planet within 10 years.

“Homeward Bound is a leadership, strategy and science communication initiative for women in science, set against the backdrop of Antarctica,” said Dr Moon.

[testimonial_text]I am looking forward to learning how, through science communication and strategic capability, I can increase the impact and visibility of my research into contaminated land remediation, to ensure that it brings real benefit to affected communities.[/testimonial_text]
[testimonial_picture name=”Dr Ellen Moon” details=”Deakin University School of Engineering”]
Dr Ellen Moon[/testimonial_picture]

Originally from the UK, Dr Moon moved to Australia in 2011 to work as a research and development chemist at ANSTO Minerals. She recently joined Deakin as a Lecturer in Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering where her research will focus on developing sustainable technologies for cleaning up land and water contaminated with heavy metals.

In the Antarctic program, the group will undertake up to six hours of collaborative learning activities each day on board their ship as it navigates the Antarctic Peninsula. They will also visit several scientific bases and other locations to learn about Antarctic geology and biodiversity, and the ways these ecosystems are likely to be affected by climate change.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the other 79 scientists on board the ship and learning from the diversity of their experiences,” said Dr Moon. “As well as helping my own research, I’m hoping to use my new leadership skills to support other women, particularly through becoming involved in Women in STEMM projects at Deakin when I return.

“I’m also really looking forward to seeing my first iceberg, as well as seeing the Antarctic wildlife in their native habitats because I’ve never seen animals like penguins and seals in the wild.”

Homeward Bound is an initiative of Fabian Dattner (leadership activist and partner at Dattner Grant) and Jess Melbourne Thomas (Antarctic Marine Ecological Modeler). It is supported by world-leading global faculty who are experts in their various domains, including primatologist and environmental campaigner Dr Jane Goodall. Participants are responsible for their own fundraising efforts to support their visit to Antarctica.

Published by Deakin Research on 31 January 2018

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