Women in Climate Science – Alima Dajuma

We understand that climate change is a global challenge that requires collective effort to solve. Our guest today is one of the African women who are actively studying climate science as part of the solution;

Hi Alima, it’s surprising how our paths met! I am glad they did, and here we are today. Thank you for joining us
Haha, I am happy to be here; thank you for inviting me.

Our audience would like to know who we are privileged to have today
I am Alima Dajuma from Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). I am currently a Postdoctoral Researcher in climate science at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Rwanda in Kigali.

Please walk us through your journey into climate science
I had my basic education from Ecole du Pont, in Abidjan. From there, I went to Lycee Moderne de Treichville to pursue secondary education. Then for my bachelor’s degree, I enrolled at the University Felix Houphouet Boigny of Abidjan. I did physics till my Master’s level, before enrolling for an international program for another Master’s degree in Climate Change and Energy under West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) at University Abdou Moumouni of Niamey, Niger.

I continued in the field of climate change and did a Ph.D. in Meteorology and climate modeling at the Federal University of Technology Akure in Nigeria under WASCAL. During my Ph.D. thesis, I spent one year in Germany working on an HPC (high-performance computer) for numerical simulations at Karlsruhe Institute Technology (KIT).

I also actively participated in some projects such as Dynamics-aerosol-chemistry-cloud interactions in West Africa (DACCIWA), and PASMU. I graduated with my Ph.D. in September 2019 and got a position as a Postdoctoral researcher at AIMS Rwanda in 2020. My research interest is in climate change and climate modeling, especially climate extremes and hazards.

What can you say has been the hardest challenge throughout your STEM journey?
My challenge was living abroad alone during those periods, far from my family. It wasn’t easy because I come from a big family and we all live together.

Let’s talk about some of the things that motivate you to keep pushing when faced with challenges
My inspiration to move forward was my wish to be useful to the entire community through my knowledge.

What is the most prestigious thing about your work in STEM?
Being a PhD holder in Physics: Option Meteorology and climate science, and working as a Researcher at AIMS Rwanda.

What do you enjoy doing outside work?
Outside work, I am a normal person. I like people and I am an open-minded person.

Do you have a favourite quote?
Yes I do; “Success is not what you have but who you are” ~ Bo Bennett.

What are your words of encouragement for a young girl in STEM?
I should say that she should have a goal in life, stick to it, and do her best to achieve it no matter the challenges she will encounter.

Thank you, Alima, for sparing time for us. I am still happy that we got to meet and look forward to having more interactions in the future.

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