Dr. Katey Walter Anthony, an aquatic ecosystem ecologist and assistant professor at the University of Alaska’s Institute of Northern Engineering and International Arctic Research Center, routinely walks on thin ice—and braves marauding bears—in the coldest corners of the planet to carry out her research on climate change.
She spends five months a year in Alaska, Siberia, and the Arctic Circle studying the release of methane. Methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, is released from lakes that have formed in the Arctic due to thawing permafrost (or frozen soil).
Since 2001, Anthony has been project coordinator at the Northeast Science Station in Cherskii, Russia, where she coordinates Russian-U.S. collaborations for the International Polar Year (IPY), a collaborative international effort to research the polar regions. Anthony’s work with IPY involves networking Arctic observatories in Alaska and Russia for long-term monitoring of climate change.
Anthony, who is fluent in Russian, has been named the University of Alaska Presidential International Polar Postdoctoral Fellow (2007) and in 2009 was one of the National Geographic Society’s Ten Emerging Explorers. She is also a winner of the Alumnae Association’s prestigious Mary Lyon Award.
Anthony graduated magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke with a self-designed major in biogeochemistry. She holds an M.Sc. from the University of California, Davis and a Ph.D. from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.