Climate researcher wins scientist of the year

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Dr Sophie Lewis of UNSW Canberra. Photo: Sam Price, UNSW Canberra

FOLLOWING Canberra’s driest July in 37 years, climate scientist Dr Sophie Lewis has been named the 2019 ACT Scientist of the Year.

Dr Lewis, a senior lecturer and research fellow at the University of NSW Canberra, was chosen because of her research, which is helping to better understand the impact of climate change on the ACT. Her research is also helping people prepare for the local, national and international effects as the planet warms.

Using climate model data, Dr Lewis was able to show that the year’s high temperatures are more likely because of climate change.

As well as receiving the ACT Scientist of the Year award, Dr Lewis will also receive $30,000 from the ACT government to continue her work.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr says Dr Lewis plans to share her knowledge through educational programs for children and young people to encourage them to develop their interests in climate change and empower them to help Canberrans make positive action on climate change.

A thrilled Dr Lewis says it’s an incredible honour to receive this award, knowing the world-class standard of science being done in Canberra.

“As ACT Scientist of the Year, I’m excited to be more involved with school groups and visiting a wider range of schools and age groups. Canberra’s students are incredibly passionate and socially engaged on issues such as sustainability and climate change,” she says.

“I will also be using the prize money to develop programs for high school and college age young people in Canberra to develop their interests in climate change and empower them help us make positive action on climate change. This will invest in our young people and allow them to teach their peers elsewhere in Australia.”

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