New correspondent: Elīza Kūkoja from Riga Technical University, Latvia

Today our team was strengthened by a student from Riga Technical University, Latvia. Her name is Elīza Aleksandra Kūkoja, studying Environmental Science and in recent years involved in different projects related to health and sustainability. Her motto: leave your comfort zone and learn from each other. Eliza is motivated to join Cool Down The Planet and assist us to unroll our video platform. She will help us find suitable subjects to be featured in her country. We first asked her to answer some questions.

Eliza, can you introduce yourself?

My name is Elīza Aleksandra Kūkoja and I am currently doing my bachelor in Environmental Science at Riga Technical University. From young age I am interested in cycles of nature and wanted to know how they ar changing, what causes the changes and how humans are affecting them.

What motivated you to choose for the study that you’re doing?

I have participated in different types of projects related to health and environment since I was in high school. In my opinion these projects are very useful in future and can make a difference when you choose your further work field. In 2015 while I was still studying in high schooI I was taking part in Uppsala University Summer Science Camp in Ecosystem Science in Sweden where I did a project about phytoplankton diversity and affect on water quality. After studying there I got a certificate for successful participation and already knew that this experience boosted my motivation to learn more about environmental protection, sustainability and it’s technical aspects and it will be the field I want to study further.

What are your ambitions? How would you like to develop your future career?

My main ambition is to leave my footprints in various environmental projects that could change our world as we know it. I believe that together we can achieve great things. But we can come to that only if we learn from each other and get out of our comfort zone. I would like to have Masters in the field of Environmental Science abroad, so I could compare and see for myself environmental problems that world is facing and how different countries solve them. In future I would like to raise awareness in society about environmental problems that we could easily solve together.

Do you see any consequences from climate change in your region? If yes, can you give an example?

Yes, of course. Although, I live in a geographically favorable location where climate change is not really felt, we can not separate ourselves from the rest of the world. So far studies in Latvia have shown that with the increase in average air temperatures, extreme air temperatures also change: the number of days with high air temperatures increases as well as the number of days with low temperatures. In most parts of the territory, the number of frosty days has decreased and the frost periods have become considerably shorter in the coastal areas of the Baltic Sea. The number of warm nights, when the minimum air temperature is higher than + 20oC, has increased significantly. The increased duration of heat periods is considered one of the most dangerous phenomena. Indicators of extreme levels of atmospheric precipitation also show a growing trend. This trend is most expressed for the cold season, especially for the winter period.

What do you consider is a strong quality of the Cool Down The Planet formula? 

Cool Down The Planet provides opportunity for society to work together, learn from each other and achieve innovative solutions for problems that are affecting everyone. This platform could become the key factor for reaching everyone with interest in making our world a better place and connecting minds that have different experiences all over the world.