The Global Advisors (GA), serve as an advisory committee whose aim is to help to maximize the inclusivity of Polar Educators International. The GA are tasked with ensuring that PEI’s goals and objectives serve a diverse, global community and help the leadership to adopt appropriate methods and techniques, including how to best approach language inclusivity. We hope, through the expertise of the GA, that PEI can serve as a model for other global organizations striving to engage with global audiences. The GA also acts as an external body for reviewing major organizational decision-making.
Former PEI Global Advisors
Kiran Bhandari (India)
Leveraging on his wealth of experience in the education and tourism sectors, Kiran founded Explorations - an exciting collective of innovative experiential brands focused on enrichment and travel experiences, in 2011. His most recent initiative, Cruise Club - India's leading multi-brand cruise specialist - was established in August 2012.
Prior to this, Kiran was with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) for 6 years. He joined STB in Singapore in 2004, and held positions in product development, investment promotion and planning roles. Concurrently, Kiran was also charged with leading Singapore Education's efforts in India, with a focus on brand development and channel development for Singapore's forays into Education.
Kiran is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from the University of Pune, and holds a Master in Business Administration degree from the National University of Singapore Business School, where he was awarded the Reginald Quahe Memorial Gold Medal for top graduating student 2003-04.
Matteo Cattadori (Italy)
Matteo is an Italian polar and science teacher, working for the MUSE, the Museum of Sciences in Trento, Italy (www-muse.it). Matteo visited Antarctica in 2006 as teacher for the ANDRILL Education Program (www.andrill.org). Following this life changing experience, Matteo developed numerous projects to help communicate the importance of the polar regions and science including: www.progettosmilla.it, www.icleen.muse.it , www.ortles.org and www.mna.it/spes
Sandra Vanhove (Belgium)
Having gained a PhD in the field of marine polar ecology, I was active for 15 years as a post doctorate managing many polar science projects at Ghent University in Belgium. Communicating my research to my close peers and other scientists has always been a challenge. But talking about the fascination of my work to family and the wider public has been an even bigger task. How can you bring the language of scientists into the public sphere? This simple question became a major focus during my career, first as science teacher and now in my job as Head of Education at the International Polar Foundation. Trying to bring a fresh and exciting look at science and search for creative ways to reach out to young people with tools to deliver the language of science in a positive way is one of my target goals.
Within this continuous search for effective communication, both language and cultural barriers caught my special attention. The diversity of people, languages and cultural backgrounds makes 'global' science communication much more complex and challenging than I could have imagined. That is how I got involved in the creation of the Polar Educators International. During many years of outreach work - before, during and after The International Polar Year - I have realized that the community of polar educators is much bigger than we previously thought. Think about the many European and South-American countries, as well as Russia, Africa, Asia and the indigenous languages. Already from the very first start of Polar Educators International in Montreal 2012, I was convinced that the flag of a global organization could only be carried if polar teaching tools, activities and projects are shared between native and non-native English speaking educators. It is maybe a very ambitious goal, but I have learned that there is only one prerequisite: spread the virus of your intellectual curiosity from the bottom of your heart (even if you have to gesticulate wildly like I do during an exchange with Canadian Inuit students in the picture).
Miriam H. Almeida (Brazil)
Miriam is a Primary and Secondary School teacher in Brazil. She teaches English as a Foreign Language/Language Arts. She has always been interested in environmental issues, so she does a lot of interdisciplinary work involving EFL and environmental topics (mainly climate change, global warming and Polar Regions). In 2007 she got involved in the International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY 2007-2008), which was one of the largest international and interdisciplinary science efforts in history, when she started translating Education and Outreach resources for them, and was later invited to become a member of the IPY International Education, Outreach and Communication Committee. She was also in the group that helped to establish APECS-Brazil (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists) and was a Council Member and Education & Outreach Coordinator for two consecutive mandates. She is also involved in the PROANTAR (Brazilian Antarctic Program) Project Bioecological Studies in Penguins and Skuas (CNPq/MCT: 557049/2009-1).
Miriam truly believes there is more to educating than teaching!
Sandra Zicus (Australia)
Over the course of her professional career, Sandy Zicus has worked with researchers, teachers, students, nongovernmental organizations and resource management agencies in Australia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, and the United States. After receiving a PhD in geography from the University of Hawaii, she moved to Australia and worked as a lecturer at the University of Queensland for three years before relocating to Tasmania. She has been involved in Antarctic research and education since 2005 through positions with the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) and the International Antarctic Institute (IAI). She also served as co-chair of the IPY Education, Outreach, and Communications subcommittee from 2006-2010, and is currently an Honorary Associate with the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania. Her current research through the Faculty of Education at UTAS is focused on developing effective ways to overcome language and cultural barriers and promote international understanding and collaboration on global environmental issues.