GIS and Web Mapping Specialist
- European School of Varese – European Baccalaureate
- University of St Andrews – BSc
- University of Glasgow – MSc
- European Baccalaureate (comparible to A-levels) – I studied English, French, Maths, Biology, History, Geography, Philosophy, Ethics, Art and Sport. I studied Geography and History in French and Philosophy, Art and Sport in Italian.
- BSc (Hons) Geology – I studied Biology, Maths, and Geography before choosing Geology for my last two years.
- MSc Geoinformation Science and Technology.
- During School – Bus Monitor
- During University – Teaching Assistant and Geobus Volunteer
- Au Pair in Spain and France
- Researcher in the University of Leicester
GIS and Web Mapping Specialist
British Antarctic Survey
My pronouns are:
I live in Cambridge and I am a cartographer – I make maps of Antarctica. I love drawing, reading, swimming, and travelling.
I grew up in Italy and went the UK for university when I was 17. I can speak Italian, French, and English.
I am very creative. I like drawing and painting, especially if I get to be outside when I do! I also love swimming and playing tennis, and going to concerts.
I wish I could have a dog, but I travel too much at the moment!
I make maps of the Antarctic to help scientists and pilots travel across the continent safely.
My job is a GIS and Web Mapping Specialist at British Antarctic Survey. This means I use Geographic Information Science (GIS) to make maps for scientists to help them learn more about Antarctica and where they are studying. I travel to the Antarctic each year to work at a Research Station. While there I work with pilots and field guides and sometime get to camp in the middle of nowhere!
My Typical Day:
When in Antarctica, my walk to work usually means wading through a lot of snow to get to the Operations building. I look at satellite images of lots of different places across the continent and make maps using a computer. I normally work from 8 am to 6 pm, with a break for lunch.
During the summer the sun doesn’t set so we can go skiing after work. I often go for walks, too – it is a great way to see the icebergs and spot any penguins and seals!
The rest of the year I am based in Cambridge in the UK. There I prepare for the next year, making maps to help scientists plan their trips.
My work changes every day – there is never a normal day!
I catch up with the fieldwork planners and pilots and make sure they are happy with where they are planning to go that day. Any travel in Antarctic usually involves flying in a small plane and maybe travelling using a skidoo. I make sure the pilots and scientists have everything they need to travel safely.
The qualifications required for this job are:
Geography is really important, and maths is useful to have too!
For this job, you normally need to have a BSc in geography or a related subject, and a Masters degree in Geographic Information Science or similar.
How I got into this job:
I had no idea what I wanted to do, just knew that I like solving problems and being creative.
During my masters degree I started looking at satellite images of the Arctic – it looked amazing and I wanted to learn more and more about the North and South poles!
I chose my research project to learn about permafrost and climate change, and then I saw that British Antarctic Survey had a job opening. It was supposed to be a 2 year desk job, but I’ve now been there for over 5 years and have been to the Antarctic 4 times!
Why did I choose this job:
I definitely fell into map-making. I liked going on fieldwork during my Geology degree, and always found mapping really interesting – I just didn’t know I could do it as a job! One of my teachers told me about some cool jobs in map-making, and that was it.
I chose this job because I wanted to do something challenging and it sounded different from any other job I’d seen!
Experiences this job has given me that I might not have got elsewhere:
Travelling to the Antarctic was something I’d never even dreamed of being able to do, let alone for my job!