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Dr. Susana Hancock

Scientist, Polar Explorer

Dr. Susana Hancock is someone who goes to the ends of the Earth to save the climate. Literally. Every year, the Maine-native clicks into her skis and conducts research on some of the world's most vulnerable ecosystems: the polar ice caps. The poles currently harbor nine of the top 16 climate tipping points, and Susana is particularly interested in understanding and communicating the cascading planet-wide impacts of some of the most pressing ones. When not on the ice, she works with global leaders, heads of state and decision makers to understand the implications of polar-driven climate risk on communities around the world.  

An experienced polar explorer, Susana has been on three polar expeditions as a scientist. Most recently, she was part of a 2022 attempt to recreate a failed North Pole expedition from 150years earlier and is now in the final stages of preparations to ski 1000km across Greenland. There, she will study how methane and other planet-warming gases are coming through the polar ice at still unestablished quantities, and will also work with schools around the world to conduct student experiments from elementary-high school classrooms and share lessons from the ice. 

Susana is the 2022-2023 President of the Association for Polar Early Career Scientists, an Arctic lead establishing the current UN Decade of Ocean Science, is an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Science Manager for Arctic Basecamp Foundation, and a team scientist with The Greenland Project, Jubilee Expedition and the North Atlantic-Arctic Ocean Science Strategic Framework.

 Susana completed her undergraduate education at Connecticut College and holds three graduate degrees from the University of Oxford in England.