Anna joined the CIRFA team early in 2021 to do her PhD with us. During the upcoming three years, her work will focus on Multi-temporal remote sensing of dynamic Arctic phenomena.

Photo: Anna Telegina.

Anna, where are you from, and what is your study and/or work background?

I was born above the polar circle in Murmansk region, Russia, but most of my life I lived in Moscow. I have a professional 5-year degree in Hydrology from Lomonosov Moscow State University, which allowed me to become experienced in such areas as hydrology, oceanography, and meteorology. My research project focus there was on the monitoring of snow water equivalent as one of the main factors of the spring flood with passive microwave data. I further developed my practical skills in remote sensing and spatial analysis with my master’s degree in Applied GIS and Remote sensing at the University of Southampton, UK which allowed me to specialise in combining different remote sensing datasets (optical, SAR, topographic) to automatically identify glaciers of the Nepal region through an Object Based framework.

Since graduating in 2017 and till 2021, I worked as a remote sensing and sea ice specialist for SCANEX R&D closely communicating with the biggest shipping and oil companies in Russia. I have been working in the department of real time monitoring and participated in variety of projects dedicated to hazardous ice features detection.

What motivates you to spend time with your research?

Different parts of the cryosphere have always been objects of my research, it started like a coincidence, as it often happens with picking the topic at the first years at University, but then it grew up into my personal number one choice. Sea ice particularly is one of the most complex, dynamic and beautiful phenomenon and this complexity does motivate me in my work and keep interested in learning more and more about it.

Plus, the frequent dialogue with the shipmasters navigating within the severe conditions of Russian Arctic and assisting in the experimental Northern Sea Route passages let me know better real people working in this area and how strongly they depend on any sea ice information every minute of their voyages. It is a great motivation for me to contribute to the developing of better sea ice products of the real value.

How will your research make a difference for people and companies that are operating in icy waters?

The main goal of my research is to provide short-term predictions (1-3 days) of sea ice conditions, based on classification of SAR images and forecasts of ice drift. Information about future position of specific ice types and deformation zones is extremely needed now for better ship route planning by mariners and safer shipping. I hope I will contribute to make a difference for these purposes.

What benefits do you expect for your professional development?

Over the past few years, I have been participating in several conferences and workshops where CIRFA’s work was presented, and the research presentations and their results would always catch my eye with their out of the box approach and thorough analysis. I am very excited to become a part of this project and hope technical and research skills I will develop here will help me to continue my work on sea ice topic at the more profound and advanced level further on.

What do you like about Tromsø and why did you choose to come here?

I came to Tromsø from the huge city with more than 12 million population, and even though, I really like Moscow, I felt like I need less hectic pace and more nature in my life. So, I am in a right place now. Never in my life I have skied so much and already got a fan of the quick lunch chocolate. I hope that it would be possible soon to spend more time with colleagues without keeping a distance and hope to see summer here at some point (I was told it exists and that it is beautiful!).

An icebreaker is helping a sailing boat to navigate through dense sea ice. Photo: NOAA/Unsplash.