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Tedesco, Marco
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/ Categories: Arctic, Climate

Tedesco, Marco

Researching Remote Reaches of the Arctic

Marco Tedesco studies the rate of snow and ice melt in Greenland. Few scientists have been to the locations where he and his team conduct field research, yet melting of the Greenland icesheet will potentially influence global sea levels. Tedesco's research contributes to our overall understanding of the changing Arctic environment. He is a co-author of the annual NOAA Arctic Report Card.


Why does your research matter?

Greenland is the largest highland on Earth, and it is mostly covered by ice. This has large implications because its melting can impact sea level rise and because of its large influence on climate.

What do you enjoy the most about your work?

Planning fieldwork in extreme environments; visiting places where nobody has ever been before; studying these wonderful materials that are snow and ice; contributing to how we address climate change related questions.

Where do you do most of your work? In a lab? In field studies?

Both. You need to analyze the data after you collect it. In general, however, the amount of time spent in the field is smaller than that spent outside. Can you imagine living for more than 6 months on the ice?

What in your lab could you not live without?


"Reading about things that are completely different from your work is a great exercise for not getting stuck in your own world...and can inspire new things about your work."

If you could invent any instrument to advance your research and cost were no object, what would it be? Why?

Everything comes with a cost! If I had to, I probably would like something that can move big chunks of the ice sheet to the lab without altering its properties, to study its properties with even more instruments. You can call it a 'Tr-Ice-porter’.

When did you know you wanted to pursue science?

Am I a scientist? Jokes apart, since I was 6, as far as I can remember.

What’s at the top of your recommended reading list for someone wanting to explore a career in science?

Read the books that your professor is assigning in class! That is if you are already in a science career path. Otherwise, anything that you are curious about. The last book I read was Moonwalking with Einstein by Josh Foer. Also, reading about things that are completely different from your work is a great exercise for not getting stuck in your own world (being too close to things will not help you to see the ‘big’ picture) and can inspire new things about your work. Kindle and all the modern reading devices are a powerful in this regard. I strongly suggest that new generations use them at their full potential.

And how about a personal favorite book?

Hard to say. This would take me hours and I would feel bad anyway.

What part of your job as a scientist did you least expect to be doing?

Xeroxing my university credit card statements.

Do you have an outside hobby?

Running marathons and half marathons, biking, art, music, photography.

What would you be doing if you had not become a scientist?

Trying to become one.

Who is your favorite historical scientist and why?

The guy who invented the wheel. Besides him, Galileo.

Marco Tedesco earned a master's degree in electronic engineering from the University of Napoli ‘Federico II’, Italy. He earned a doctorate in methods for environmental monitoring from the University of Potenza, Italy, in 2003. 

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