Shakti and the Sommers Sisters’ School Science Safari

A few days ago, a new paper was published on a subglacial hydrology model of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The name of the model is SHAKTI, which stands for Subglacial Hydrology And Kinetic, Transient Interactions. The lead author is my sister, Aleah, who developed this model as part of her PhD dissertation work. She is also a serious yogi and yoga instructor (who runs retreats in mountain huts and secluded Mexican beaches if you want to join her!).

She was tickled that her coauthors went along with the acronym, which is, in her words, “a Sanskrit term for the energy that gives form to everything in the universe, the divine feminine principle.”

Aleah presenting her dissertation work publicly at her defense.

I was privileged to hear more about her research earlier this spring, not only at her public presentation as part of her dissertation defense, but during a series of joint presentations we did on our “polar opposite” (Arctic vs. Antarctic) research.

The presentations took place at schools in Ouray, Ridgeway, and Cortez, in southern Colorado. They were organized by the Pinhead Institute, who graciously hosted us in Telluride. It was a great few days of sister road trip adventure, sharing photos and stories and scientific results of our adventures with K-12 students (mostly high school, but a 3rd grade class or two!). We dubbed the adventure the Sommers’ Sisters’ School Science Safari as we toured between often several schools and towns in a day. Here are some images of that journey:

Hopefully Aleah’s research and the addition of the SHAKTI model will help predict future melt rates of Greenland’s ice sheet and coastal glaciers, and provide better forecasts for the speed of sea level rise. Check out this latest paper yourself – and see if you can understand any of it! If not, Aleah does a great job of explaining it in plain language in person, so ask her over a glass of kombucha, or see if she is up for presenting to your class or club.