Wanting to keep his options open, Clarrie started off his time at university with a BSc in Geophysics and English Literature.
“In the final year of my Bachelor’s I was drawn to the climate and ice science area of geophysics. I wanted to learn how the mathematics and physics of seismology and Earth deformation could be applied to address pressing scientific issues in glaciology and climate change.”
For his research, Clarrie is creating a computer model of Tasman Glacier to better understand the processes that link changes in glacial surface water (such as during rainfall events or summer melting) to the acceleration of ice flow.
“Glaciology as a science has undergone a remarkable evolution over the last few decades. There is still a lot of ground to be covered, with uncertainty in the total volume of ice, the shape of the Earth beneath the ice caps, and what drives rapid glacier retreats. I find it both daunting and captivating.
“I am gaining the skills I wanted to acquire from postgraduate research – I’m looking at global issues whilst building confidence in my academic ability.”
‘Epic’ is the word that Clarrie uses to describe Wellington. “We are at the foot of a mountain range and above a harbour that is either as still as glass or vaulting sea-spray into the air. You are always within walking distance of the town belt, so it is easy to find solace. However, a walk in the other direction takes you to a city centre bustling with art, bars, and more options for coffee than any person needs.”