Get to know Our Educational Science Research Group – Meet Mirjam Glessmer

Hi! My name is Mirjam Glessmer and I am an adjunct associate professor at the Geophysical Institute in Bergen. Within iEarth, my main goal is to investigate how fieldwork and laboratory opportunities can be created to better prepare students for (or, in times of covid, potentially replace) “the real thing”, and how those activities can be used in outreach to raise interest in, and understanding of, ocean and climate topics.

For this, I am using two main approaches:

#KitchenOceanography consists of easy experiments that can be done with supplies that can be found in every kitchen. In #KitchenOceanography, settings are simplified compared to typical laboratory experiments or the world’s ocean, but far from simple. Whether it’s observing the milk in your coffee or ice cubes in fresh vs salt water – there is so much to learn about ocean physics using only everyday items, and there are new things to discover, while simultaneously practicing laboratory skills like testing hypotheses, observing phenomena, or documenting setups and procedures.

#WaveWatching is the practice of looking for climate physics in our everyday lives. Waves exist not only in the ocean, but everywhere from puddles in the street to your sink at home. Noticing physics all around us helps to connect the dry theory to reality – both by finding instances where phenomena can be observed and therefore investigated in a practical way, as well as by realizing that the phenomena really exist in the real world outside of university.

If you want to see me talk about those topics and my ideas for iEarth, check out my short presentation as part of the Digital Learning Forum in December 2020!

I am also very interested in the role and potential of social media in science communication. You are welcome to connect with me via my blog, on Twitter (@meermini), or Instagram (@fascinocean_kiel), I am looking forward to “meeting” you there!