Breaking the ice: a chronicle of women scientists leadership program in Antarctica
Spanish scientists and 2019 Homeward Bound alumnae Blanca Bernal and Cristina Otano, along with program representative Anabella Palacios, will discuss the importance of the program and the meaningful role of women in science.
Homeward Bound is a program that aims is to increase the influence and impact of women scientists in the essential decisions that shape our planet. For its 2016 inaugural edition, this program became the largest-ever female-only expedition to Antarctica.
Homeward Bound is a global leadership program for women in STEMM. With 350 women from nearly 50 countries in its network, it was named on Vogue’s list of “Gamechangers in 2018” and counts Christiana Figueres, primatologist Jane Goodall, women’s advocate Musimbi Kanyoro, and marine explorer Sylvia Earle in its list of supporters. The program is now nearly halfway towards achieving its vision of creating a global collaboration of 1000 women leaders with STEMM backgrounds.
About Anabella Palacios
Anabella was born and raised in Córdoba, Argentina, and has been living in Washington, D.C. for the last 9 years. She believes that to effectively impact policy on climate change, we need more integration of scientific knowledge and innovative approaches into decision-making processes. She has been working in multilaterals and NGOs, implementing collaborative approaches to problem solving in the fields of economic development and sustainability in Latin America. She wants to be an executive arm to implement science in policy and practice. She lived in countries such as Turkey and Japan, and has travelled around the world and experienced very different cultures that changed her life. Palacios holds an Urban Planning degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was part of the Homeward Bound Team 3 in January 2019.
About Dr. Blanca Bernal
Dr. Blanca Bernal is a Senior Program Associate at Winrock’s Ecosystem Services Unit, where she applies science-based approaches oriented to creating resilient and sustainable communities, and to supporting climate change mitigation strategies. She has developed multiple user-friendly decision support tools tailored to stakeholders’ needs to assist governments and organizations in assessing the benefits of their forest protection and restoration efforts. As a wetland biogeochemist, Dr. Bernal also investigates carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, and ecosystem response to environmental change in coastal wetlands. Dr. Bernal is a Homeward Bound Program alumnae, the international female leadership program that seeks to increase visibility and leadership of women in STEMM.
About Cristina Otano
Cristina Otano is Senior Operations Officer at GFDRR. She leads the Operations and Country Programs team, working to ensure all investments in resilience are designed taking into account disaster and climate risks, as well as future climate change and variability. Otano also coordinates the gender program, which promotes a more gender-responsive approach of disaster risk management practices. She has more than 15 years of experience with the World Bank and has been previously based in Bangkok, Paris and London offices. Prior to that, she worked for the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX) in Bolivia. Otano holds a master’s degree in International Public Policy from the University of London, a master’s degree in International Trade at Carlos III University in Madrid, and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Navarre, Spain.