Marie Clark first started her journey in science growing up in Creswick when she received a microscope as a Christmas gift from her mother.
In 2018 she will be one of 80 women worldwide travelling to Antarctica as part of a female-only leadership program.
The Homeward Bound program aims to heighten the influence and impact of women with a science background to create action and leadership on climate change.
Ms Clark said there was no doubt climate change was the biggest issue of our time.
“The data clearly suggests that huge changes are underfoot. All of humanity and probably more so the poorest people in the world are going to be affected,” Ms Clark said.
After completing a PhD in immunology and mid-way through a medical degree, Ms Clark who currently works as a science teacher, took an interest in environmental science.
She has worked with community groups at her new home in Gippsland to work toward community owned renewable energy.
Ms Clark said communities have had to take matters into their own hands to introduce renewable energy due to a lack of leadership on climate change in Australian politics.
“Communities are the way it (renewable energy) is going to happen because we are not being lead properly,” Ms Clark said.
Only 80 women scientists from around the world were selected for the Homeward Bound program, where participants will spend three weeks in Antarctica.
Ms Clark said the program also aimed to increase female leadership in science.
“Although women make up 60 per cent of junior lecturers in science, at the top level of professors and researchers, only 16 per cent are female. There is something massively not right with that,” Ms Clark said.
“Coming from education, I am really interested in how we can communicate climate change to our young people and get them engaged in finding solutions, as they are the people who are going to have to do the heavy lifting in finding solutions.
“There is room to increase engagement with science in rural schools. It would be great to see some of the awesome engagement programs happening in primary schools. Younger students are so interested in what is happening in the world.”
Visit https://www.chuffed.org/project/homeward-bound-womens-leadership-for-our-planets-future-marie-clark for more information about Marie Clark’s journey or to donate to her trip.