Rita’s sense of water

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A conversation with Laura Caciagli

An extraordinary passion for the ocean, travels and logic games. Rita Lecci from Salento tells us about her life inside and outside of the ocean forecasts that never seem to abandon her.

What’s your job at the CMCC Foundation?
I’m the responsible of the Ocean-Lab’s Operational Group in Lecce. Every day I supervise the scheduled, timely release of our operational services and applications in the framework of several international and national projects.

Which road led you to CMCC?
I was lucky enough to attend the right study course – that is Marine Environmental Sciences and Oceanography at my Alma Mater Studiorum University in Bologna, Italy. By choosing this area of study, in fact, I had the chance to have Nadia and Antonio* (Nadia Pinardi and Antonio Navarra, editor’s note) as professors. After completing my degree, I obtained a Ph.D. in Science and Management of Climate Change from Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, Italy. From that moment on, I never left the CMCC Foundation. I consider it as my second family.

Is your current job the one you had dreamed of when you were a child?
I was born with an extraordinary passion for the sea. Since I was a child I decided that I would find a job dealing with it. I did not know yet how I could have reached that goal, but I found my way little by little. I only followed my nature and talent and my greatest passion.

Could you tell us the most beautiful moment in your life as CMCC researcher?
I can’t identify a single moment, there are many corresponding to the several conferences and missions I have attended, real moments to meet people, exchange views and find out new ideas and solutions. I am a very curious and open-minded person and finding and learning something new every day is very important for me.

What’s on your workstation?
I am afraid I am not a nice person for the CMCC’s cleaning company. You can find everything on my desk! It’s full of all the things I have collected during my many travels around the world. For example, I used to keep many logic games on my desk, such as a Rubik’s or I recently bought a calendar that proposes a logic problem to be solved everyday.

What’s the ritual never missing in your work day?
The coffee break, of course! The social interaction with the other CMCC men and women is something that I must not ever miss out on during my work day.

How do you travel to work?
OPA is in the city center, so arriving at the office in the morning only takes a matter of minutes. Five minutes by bike and I am operative at my desk – and this is a great advantage for a sleepy person like me.

What do you do in your spare time?
I have very little spare time actually, but when I find some time for myself, I love going to the swimming pool. As an oceanographer, close contact with water is essential as it has a extremely healthy and relaxing effect on me.

Passion for sport: what has been your most demanding sports challenge?
I’m interested in everything dealing with water: I got a scuba diving license and took surfing lessons, and I love swimming any time I can. Moreover, I’ve made the foolish act of skydiving. My first tandem parachute jump experience was along the coast of the Marche region, at 4200 m height. I was curious to watch the sea from a different perspective.

Rita’s world in pictures: look at Rita’s photogallery on the CmccClimate Facebook page.

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