The Secret Lives of Glaciers

Our planet has over 400,000 glaciers and ice caps scattered across its surface, some 5.8 million square miles of ice. Fascinatingly, where there are glaciers, there are people, and the two have been interacting for the entirety of human history. But we know so little about that interaction, those human stories of glaciers. The Secret Lives of Glaciers explores glacier diversity in Iceland, highlighting the rich social and cultural context and variability amongst glaciers and people. Investigating glaciers and people together teaches us about how human society experiences being in the world today amidst increasing climatic changes and anthropogenic transformation of all of Earth’s systems.

M Jackson of Portland, OR

Dr. M Jackson is a geographer, glaciologist, environmental educator, 2018 TED Global Fellow, and an Explorer for the National Geographic Society who researches and writes about glaciers and climate change worldwide. M earned a doctorate from the Geography Department at the University of Oregon, where she examined how climate change transformed people and ice communities in Iceland. A veteran three-time U.S. Fulbright Scholar in both Turkey and Iceland, M currently serves as a U.S. Fulbright Ambassador. M works as an Arctic Expert for the National Geographic Society, holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Montana, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia. She’s worked for over a decade in the Arctic chronicling climate change and communities, guiding backcountry trips and exploring glacial systems. Her 2015 book While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change weaves together the parallel stories of what happens when the climates of a family and a planet change. Her 2018 book, The Secret Lives of Glaciers, explores the stories of Icelandic people and glaciers through the lens of climatic changes. She is currently working on In Tangible Ice, a multi-year Arctic project examining the socio-physical dimensions of glacier retreat in near-glacier communities across all eight circumpolar nations.

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