Dr Klaus Grosfeld
Klaus first came into contact with the topic of ice during his Geophysics studies, and subsequently began investigating ice shelves and glaciers. Accordingly, his first dealings with the polar regions came was when he began analysing glacier data as a student assistant. In the course of his career, he has since focused on modelling the cryosphere, ice-ocean interactions, and the atmosphere, gathering a range of expertise in the field of climate research in the process. When the Helmholtz Initiative on Regional Climate Change (REKLIM) was formed, Klaus recognised it as a highly promising, interdisciplinary research project, which he has led as Managing Director since 2009. Two of the many duties of the Coordinating Office are to share the network’s findings with the public, and to develop suitable forms and formats to ensure that those findings can be used as the basis of sound decision-making processes. In this regard, one key goal is the creation of informative platforms, such as the information and data portal meereisportal.de.
For REKLIM and meereisportal.de Klaus provides coordinating support, pursues the further development of ideas, and helps decide which types of data are provided, and how. In addition, he defines the network’s future goals, seeks innovative and exciting research projects, and forms new partnerships to foster REKLIM’s growth. Here, the goal is for meereisportal.de to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, and to increase awareness for it in society at large.
What is the greatest strength of meereisportal.de?
We have an impressive amount of expertise in sea-ice research at the AWI, and meereisportal.de allows us to create our own news items, address important topics, and share the latest findings. It’s also valuable to provide comprehensive information, and to offer a different way of accessing research by showing various aspects of our work.
What’s the idea behind meereisportal.de?
Our goal is to raise awareness for sea-ice-related processes in the Arctic and Antarctic, and for the repercussions of anthropogenic climate changes in those regions. In this regard, we can interact with a range of cultural and social projects and form an empowered community capable of achieving lasting improvements. In the process, our colleagues’ self-image also changes, as they receive direct feedback and recognition for their impressive expertise.
What have you learned by working on meereisportal.de?
I experience something new every day, by collaborating with the experts from diverse fields who work at the AWI. But I think the key lesson I’ve learned is how important it is to make our research efforts and their outcomes comprehensible and accessible, so that they produce the greatest-possible benefit for society.
If someone asked you what you actually do all day, the answer would be…?
Bringing people together, managing and keeping an eye on developments, keeping our goals in mind and checking on progress when necessary. And of course I also spend a bit of time engaged in current research endeavours.