From ballet flats to mountain boots

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Kind, quiet and always smiling. A lifetime spent between climate studies and frequent interactions with the neighbourhood life: let’s get to know the scout leader Andrea Staccione, PhD candidate and researcher for the Risk Assessment and Adaptation Strategies (RAAS) Division at CMCC.

Interview by Ottavia Carlon

What’s your job at the CMCC Foundation?
I have worked at the RAAS Division since June 2017 and am a PhD candidate in Science and Management of Climate Change at Ca’ Foscari University. At CMCC I deal with adaptation strategies, studying the effectiveness of a network of green infrastructures (nature-based solutions) that support ecosystemic services towards adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

What brought you to CMCC?
I was studying Environmental Sciences at Ca’ Foscari, and at the same time looking for a tutor for my Master’s thesis. Through Prof. Marcomini, I met Jaroslav Mysiak (current Director of the RAAS Division, e/n) who agreed to be my tutor. I was then offered an internship which led to a contract, and here I am!

Is your current job the one you used to dream of as a child?
I have always been interested in the environment and climate, but honestly, I didn’t imagine pursuing an academic career. While studying for my Master’s, I thought I would leave the university and research world soon after, but I was wrong: now I am really glad for this opportunity.

Tell us about a special moment during your time at CMCC
I would certainly say it was when I got to share the preparation of my PhD application with my CMCC colleagues; practice and rehearse my presentation with them; and prepare for the questions… And obviously, sharing with them the happiness of getting a place!

What ritual is never missing from your workday?
My ritual actually derives from a necessity: in the afternoon my work productivity often decreases, so I need to take a walk, maybe even going back home or to a scout meeting. Then, if I still have some work to do, I only get back to it after dinner. I need some time off during my workday.

How do you travel to work?
I almost always go to work at the Vega premises, where I can concentrate better. I remember when our premises where in San Giorgio island: maybe the context was more beautiful, but it took me one and a half hours to get there from Mestre! Now it takes me 20 minutes, so my commute has improved substantially. Normally I get to work by bus, but sometimes I get a lift – car sharing is still acceptable, isn’t it? (Laughs, e/n). When the weather is good enough, I also use a bike, but not as much as I’d like to.

What do you do in your spare time?
Most of my free time is devoted to the scouts. I have been a scout leader for eight years, and joined the scouts even earlier. I also became a clan leader a couple of years ago, and I work with a group of 17 to 20-year-old boys and girls. With them I take part in weekly meetings, organize mountain trips and other activities during the weekend… Furthermore, I take part in neighbourhood initiatives, like our annual non-competitive race. Moreover, up until last year I was a practicing ballerina; I hope I will be able to go back to dancing this year, along with work and other commitments.

Movies or literature: give me a title and explain your choice
I love reading but right now I struggle to read as much as I would like to. My job as a researcher implies a lot of reading (even though of a different kind), and at the end of the day my attention fails me so I turn to a good movie or – even better – a web series. I love crime stories! A book I really loved though is the Harry Potter saga: a story that filled my childhood with magic… and to this day I am still a huge fan!

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