Anaïs Orsi is a climate scientist
She specializes in reconstructing the temperature history of polar regions in order to better understand the significance of current climate changes. Anaïs studied Physics at the Ecole Polytechnique and then moved to Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, for her Ph.D. There, she worked on deep ice-coring project at WAIS-Divide in West Antarctica, where she led two 3-month summer field expeditions. Her PhD work combined several sources of information to provide robust temperature reconstructions. She showed that West Antarctica has been warming significantly over the last 50 years, and that the period AD 1400-1850, often called the Little Ice Age, was a cold period in Antarctica as well as the Northern Hemisphere.
In 2013, Anaïs obtained an EU Marie Curie fellowship to develop new laboratory techniques in France. She is now at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, where she studies the climate of other regions of Antarctica, in order to identify the mechanisms responsible for large-scale changes in polar climate. Anaïs is an experienced field scientist. She has spent more than 13 months in polar regions, participating in international field expeditions in Antarctica (WAIS-Divide deep drilling (USA), Kohnen station (Germany)), Greenland (NEEM deep drilling (Denmark)), and more recently studying the snow layer on Arctic sea ice as part of the Norwegian young sea-ice project.
Anaïs is dedicated to scientific outreach, and regularly shares the wonders of the polar world with school classes and adults alike. She collaborated with the Birch Aquarium at Scripps to develop hands on activities for the general public to discover issues associated with climate change. She developed science discovery activities for 6-7 year-olds with the “Petits-Débrouillards” association, and works with teachers to include scientific inquiry in their curriculum. She is the author of 14 scientific publications. In 2014, she was awarded the Le Monde prize for university research. In 2015, she was selected by an international committee to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting, a venue for young scientists to interact with Nobel laureates.
She enjoys being outdoors, and while in California was an active member of the San Diego Mountain Rescue team.