I’ve been trying to limit my flights for 3 years now. I still fly about once per year (to do field work or to attend major conferences) but I’m planning to cut back even further. I’m also encouraging my colleagues to fly less. The major challenge (as a New Zealand scientist) is that we are surrounded by ocean and so it’s very hard to find an alternative way to visit international labs or conferences…there are no trains I can take to travel to Europe or North America! I’m actively exploring virtual conference options and trying to use internet video calls to keep collaborations going. As a senior scientist this works ok, but for younger New Zealand scientists this is very difficult, as they need to forge links around the world. In the long run, we may need to accept more limited collaborations in science to help protect the environment.
I am a senior researcher in the field of active tectonics using geodynamic numerical models of earth processes. I have worked with and developed 2D and 3D numerical methods incorporating faults, properties of crustal rocks, and thermal and fluid evolution of active plate boundaries. Recent work has focused on the influence of faulting on stresses in the crust, and the interplay between seismic and interseismic deformation in New Zealand. My field work has included trips to Papua New Guinea and the Southern Alps of New Zealand- this work sometimes requires using helicopters to access the field sites.