Paola Catapano is a science communicator at CERN, science journalist, arctic and antarctic reporter, Polarquest2018 project manager and much more.

In preparation for the expedition, Paola was recently certified in a Polar Bear and Weapon for Protection course.

Q&A with Paola Catapano

Why are you joining the Polarquest 2018 expedition? What’s your main motivation?

I developed a passion for polar regions since my first stay in Antarctica as a guest journalist of the the Italian research programme. That’s also when I learned about the history of polar explorations at the beginning of the 20th century and of course about the incredible polar adventure of Umberto Nobile and the ITALIA Airship. The 90th anniversary of Nobile’s scientific expedition to the North Pole and its unfortunate crash on the way back is an unmissable opportunity to celebrate those pioneers of Arctic research and attract public attention on the importance of polar regions for the balance and survival of our planet.

What are your expectations from this exceptional voyage above the Arctic circle?

Our priority is to carry out our research programme correctly: measure the cosmic ray flow at the highest possible latitude, sample the last unmeasured micro-plastic patch on the east coast of Svalbard and share this unforgettable experience with as many members of the public as possible. Of course, should Polarquest2018 also be as lucky as to find any trace of the ITALIA wreck… then that would really be a dream come true!

What is your most extreme or adventurous experience before this one?

Spending over a month in Antarctica, often at -55° C, and manage to produce 4 documentaries with just a cameraman and in prohibitive conditions.