Skip to main content
What Inspires Me

What Inspires Me: Seeking Solutions

Fall 2018

Yarrow Axford, associate professor of Earth and planetary sciences 

“Teaching is a really remarkable source of inspiration. I teach classes not just for Earth scientists but also for students in McCormick and Medill, even the law school. And I draw a lot of inspiration from the students in those classes, because it gives me a chance to interact with young people who are oriented toward solving problems. Whether they’re doing graduate research on solar fuels or improving industrial processes to make them more energy efficient, they want to find solutions to the problems — including climate change. Working with the next generation of scientists and engineers and journalists and politicians and economists and entrepreneurs keeps me hopeful.”

Axford grew up in rural Maine, where she was fascinated by the glacially sculpted landscapes and how they came to be. At Northwestern she studies climate and environmental change, primarily through the lens of paleolimnology — the study of lake sediments and past lake environments. Her work is aimed at understanding climate change and glacier fluctuations in Arctic and alpine environments, including around the margins of the Greenland ice sheet. Her most recent research explored lake mud that provided a record of two interglacial periods in northwest Greenland —information that could help researchers better gauge Greenland’s sensitivity to warming.”

yarrow axford professor of earth and planetary sciences

Yarrow Axford, right, and doctoral students prepare to sample a lake in Greenland. Alex P. Taylor

Share this Northwestern story with your friends via...

Reader Responses

No one has commented on this page yet.

Submit a Response