Passionate for Science
Director Aaron Lewis grew up in rural Missouri. The rivers and hickory/oak forests of Missouri planted the seeds of his passion for the outdoors. In Missouri Lewis attended Northwest Missouri State University to become an Ecologist. In continued pursuit of his love of science, he attended a graduate program at Western Colorado University. A fellowship with ThinkRadio gave him his first opportunity to share science with the world in the form of podcasts and shorts. In 2018, Lewis joined a research expedition funded by the National Science Foundation. In the film “Smoldering Ice” Lewis makes his directorial debut documenting the expedition of him and a team of researchers in the Siberian Arctic.
The Arctic is changing faster than anywhere on earth. Forest fires, heat waves, and thawing permafrost threaten to reshape the landscape of Russia. The resulting carbon lost from these ecosystems creates feedback loops affecting the rest of the world. Director Lewis made “Smoldering Ice” to showcase the importance of this expedition to the entire world and shed light on the hardworking scientists that study these phenomena. These scientists brave grueling conditions so that we may better understand our planet and changing climate.
Passionate for Science
Dr. Jennie DeMarco is a self-identified nerdy scientist who loves geeking out on asking questions about how the natural world works and how to design experiments to answer those questions. She is often heard saying, “We can test that!” when those around her postulate a question about any topic. Her research focuses on how climate change, land-use change, and invasive species impact carbon and nitrogen cycling, two elemental cycles most altered by humans on a global scale. She has researched a range of extreme ecosystems from deserts to the arctic but her heart lies with arctic systems. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe and is already experiencing major changes due to climate change. Her most recent research has taken her to the far northeast of the Siberian arctic through the brush, burned trees, and mosquitos in search of answers to a changing arctic. Like most scientists, Dr. DeMarco is passionate about finding the answers to her questions, so much so that she will endure hiking through the brush, trying not to trip over downed burned trees, all while being attacked by thousands of mosquitos to get the data to answer those questions. In addition to her research, Dr. DeMarco has been working on sharing this passion for science to the general public through storytelling, education, and outreach.