ANCHORAGE – Kristin Timm, a designer with the Interior Department's Alaska Climate Science Center and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning, is among 10 designers who were recently recognized internationally for excellence in science communication.
Cosponsored by Popular Science magazine and the National Science Foundation, the Visualization Challenge competition — the Vizzies — recognizes some of the best scientific photos, videos, posters and illustrations produced each year.
Timm and her collaborators received the People’s Choice award in the poster division for their illustration entitled "From Icefield to Ocean."
The illustration was one of over 300 entries into the annual competition, which has been held for more than a decade. During two rounds of judging, science and visualization experts narrowed the entries to 50 finalists. Readers voted online for the People’s Choice award, and independent experts vetted the winners for accuracy.
Timm worked with glaciologists Shad O' Neel, from the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Science Center, and Eran Hood, from the University of Alaska Southeast. She also worked with ecologist Allison Bidlack, from the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center.
The figure they developed depicts the important linkages between glaciers and the ocean. The team felt that it was particularly important to find a compelling way to communicate these research findings to Alaskans because Alaska's coastal glaciers are among the most rapidly changing areas on the planet and glacier runoff can influence marine habitats, ocean currents and economic activities.
The work was supported by the Interior Department's Alaska Climate Science Center. Established in 2011, the regional center is one of eight across the United States that bring together university, federal and other researchers to meet climate change research needs.
The figure will be published in the March 2015 issue of Popular Science. "From Icefield to Ocean" and the other contest winners can also be viewed on the Popular Science website.