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PAGE21 Researcher Profile: Sarah Chadburn

This time we have a pleasure to introduce one of PAGE21 modelers, Sarah Chadburn who has recently become part of PAGE21 project. 
 
Sarah Chadburn, young researcher within PAGE21 projectSarah Chadburn, young researcher within PAGE21 projectName:
Sarah Chadburn
 
Institution:
University of Exeter
 
Nationality:
British
 
Research Field:
My research at the moment is in improving the representation of permafrost in the JULES land surface model, and predicting the effect of carbon release from permafrost thaw on the future climate. I am a physicist in origin and only recently came to climate science.
 
What parts of your research will be a direct input to PAGE21?
My work will contribute to work packages 6 and 7, improving the modelling of permafrost (WP6) and making predictions of future climate using the improved model (WP7).
 
What is the current challenge within this topic?
One of the main challenges is to get more observations in permafrost regions, so we can evaluate the models better and reduce the uncertainly of predictions. For me personally, I think the biggest challenge will be the soil hydrology. Including processes like thermokarst in the model would also be a huge challenge (if attempted!).
 
How did it happen that you became a researcher?
To be honest I have always wanted to do research. And when I first tried it (in my final year of university) I loved it. Since then I have worked towards becoming one!
 
Why do you like being the researcher?
It may sound obvious, but I love solving problems that no one has solved before! I also love being able to control what I do and follow my nose if I want to, and being challenged every day in my work, and always learning new things. Also the friendly atmosphere and collaboration.
 
What do you like most in being a researcher?
Basically all of it. 
 
How a typical working day looks like?
From the outside, quite dull, as I mainly sit at my desk. But I am thinking about interesting things... Sometimes discussing things with other researchers.
 
What are the challenges for modelers?
I think I will find out over the next few years...
 
Funniest response ever when you told somebody that you are a "polar researcher"?
I have never told anyone this! I usually mention permafrost. Some people haven't heard of it, and one woman appeared to know what it was but she was clearly thinking of something else- not sure what though.
 
What are your plans for the upcoming three / five years?
To make JULES more awesome, get some interesting results and publish some papers.
 
Most interesting experience / occurrence so far in your career?
My career in climate science has been only 2 months so far. I think visiting the met office is a pretty interesting experience though! I can't wait to visit Abisko in September. What are the challenges in the cooperation with the field people? I have met one so far and he seemed quite easy to cooperate with! Usual response when you tell somebody that you are researcher in the field of modeling? "You must be very brainy."
 
Written by Sarah Chadburn
 
 
 
 
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