Chelsea Long


An Icy Time Traveller

I'm from: Tasmania
Current Location: Hobart, Tasmania
Position: PhD Candidate, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania
Field of research/work: Ice Core Science and Water Policy
YTS Years: 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024

Chelsea's Notable career moments

  • Seeing a photograph of a Glaciologist

  • Failing maths in grade 8

  • Studying Antarctic science and almost failing Chemistry

  • Going to Antarctica in Honours and working with nuclear techniques

  • Working as ice core technician

  • Career change to policy to demonstrate importance of ice core research

About Chelsea Long

I knew that I wanted to be a Glaciologist ever since someone from the Australian Antarctic Division showed me a picture of a person holding an ice core. My dream came true in 2017 when I went to Law Dome, Antarctica 120 km inland from Casey Station, to collect ice cores and study them!

My favourite part about ice core chemistry is that it is the closest thing you can get to actual time travel. Ever wonder what the Sun was doing in the year you were born? Or how an explosive volcanic eruption changed Earth’s climate? Or perhaps see how the atmosphere has changed before even your great-great-great grandparents were born! In fact, ice cores can be used in even bizarre ways, did you know that they can be used to reconstruct drought and rainfall variability across Australia? Well, they can!

After working as an ice core technician processing and analysing samples for three years, I am now taking them one step further by translating them into policy. I believe that ice cores shouldn’t stop at being scientific, they provide real information that can be used to shape how Australia and International governments manage an uncertain climatic future. This is where I come in, connecting the dots between how ice cores can be used to improve Australia’s water security, particularly in our country which is famous for drought!

I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to connect with Antarctica regardless of whether you wish to pursue a STEM career or not. Since Antarctica connects all of us in complex and silent climatic ways.

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