Dr Anne R. Wecking
Born and bred in Dorsten, a city in north-west Germany shaped by coal mining history, my early years were imprinted by the freedom of childhood, the ease of a warm-hearted home and the curiosity to explore.
Eagerly I listened to geography lessons at school or, in my freetime, discovered the outdoors. Playing basketball competetively was what then filled my teenage years and which I am still very passionate about today.
With the age of 19, I left the sheltered environment of home and exposed myself to the world: I studied Physical Geography and Soil Science in Hannover, learnt at ifp Journalism School in Munich and started to immerse myself in intercultural experiences; both domestically and internationally. My twenties were irrevocably shaped by the international flavour of these experiences - at university but particularly whilst living in Mongolia and New Zealand.
It was back then when I noticed that societies and ecosystems are experiencing inherent changes and became aware that these, more than ever, demand creative solutions and curiosity-driven answers.
Studying Physical Geography & Landscape Ecology (BSc), Landscape Sciences & Soils (MSc) at Leibniz Universität Hannover and Glaciology in Salford (ERASMUS) introduced me to the academic side of science, neatly structured and schematic. Not completely disinclined by how science seemed to work that way, I accepted a PhD position at the University of Waikato in New Zealand (2017). I was eager to learn more about greenhouse gases, intensive pastoral farming and overall environmental change - the 'why' and the 'how'.
With the PhD done and dusted in early 2021, I am now focusing on taking a turn back to some of my other roots: journalism and communication. I am aiming to build bridges between science and the general public. To share the fascination for life and to provide creative but always fact-based knowledge about the state of the planet.
In the past ten years, I was very fortunate to collect a broad range of journalistic experiences: from writing for local newspapers and attending a three-year apprenticeship at ifp journalism school in Munich to publishing in GEOlino, a popular science magazine for children. In 2019, I wrote my so far most important popular science piece of work for the New Zealand Soils Portal in cooperation with Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research. And now? This website is the next step on my way to becoming more visible as a researcher, journalist and science communicator. I am craving more!
Being an environmental scientist is, for me, deeply connected with exposing myself to nature. This is the only way I can feel her breathing, understand her ways of internal functioning and realise the interconnectivity of life overall. On my explorations around the world, I gained some practical skills in the outdoors. Those are hiking ability in mountainous to sub-alpine terrain, first aid and pre-hospital care training, surf lifesaving qualifications following German and New Zealand standards, rock, tree and a little bit of ice climbing, snow craft, kite buggy driving, paragliding and riding on the back of wild Mongolian horses.
Digging in the "dirt" - doing what I enjoy most
Installing a cooling system for a quantum cascade laser using sub-soil temperature gradients
Life in a yurt - capturing the moment
Freedom rider on the back of a Mongolian horse