I am from Barcelona but have lived in the UK, the Netherlands, the US and Colombia. I also spent periods of time in Korea, Germany and South Africa. Developing my research in scientific institutions with the greatest impact and reputation has always been a primary objective of my career and has led me to move to incredible places, meet wonderful colleagues and learn about other cultures. Outside of work, I like traveling, cooking, swimming, walking and reading.
Science education as the key to solving global issues together
Carme Huguet describes herself as a research scientist with a teaching vocation. From the young age of eight, she knew that she wanted to learn more about nature and the environment. Nine years later, she enrolled in a biology program, specializing in edaphology—the study of soil for plant growth—at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
Then, realizing she aspired to learn more about the oceans, she pursued her graduate studies in oceanography in Scotland and the UK. After a three-year break, where she discovered her love for teaching, Carme made the move to the Netherlands to pursue a PhD in biogeochemistry, finally bringing her interest in the natural environment and its complex processes together.
Carme sailed across the Atlantic, all the way to Seattle, in order to participate in several research cruises targeting the dynamics of the continent-ocean transition and the effects of climate change in coastal settings. She then moved back to Spain to reconstruct climate change and investigate its impacts before crossing the Atlantic once more in 2015, this time to Bogotá as an assistant professor for an undergraduate biosciences program. She is now happy to join IE University’s innovative Bachelor in Environmental Sciences for Sustainability in Segovia, a program she is sure will let her pursue her two great passions: science and teaching.
Carme says the Bachelor in Environmental Sciences for Sustainability is what she would have liked to study when she was at university herself. That’s because it offers an integrated view of the planet and its dynamics. Since issues like climate change are multidimensional, it is necessary to tackle them in a multi- and transdisciplinary way. She believes the program’s holistic focus provides the necessary bases to build new knowledge, informing a problem-solving approach that will give graduates an unprecedented set of skills they can use to address global challenges.
Carme feels that science must be lived and enjoyed, but most of all shared. “Besides, you never learn as much as when you are teaching,” she admits. In her opinion, scientists must find more effective ways to share and communicate their findings at all levels so that society can contribute to solving global issues; teaching at university is one way to achieve this goal.
This unique perspective guides Carme’s teaching methodology. In her own classes, she likes to use a combination of practical and theoretical approaches to engage students as well as encourage self-regulated learning and progressive auto-evaluation. She handles several courses in the Bachelor in Environmental Sciences for Sustainability, always focused not just on providing conceptual knowledge, but also building her students’ transversal skills so that they can tackle any issue they set their mind to.
With an eye toward the future, Carme implements new technologies that support both her teaching practice and student learning. By harnessing emerging innovations, she creates materials and activities that make her courses more dynamic and immersive. Her zeal for teaching extends beyond the classroom itself: she designs educational activities for the community and is the leader of an active STEM teaching and research group.
In her free time, Carme likes to travel and discover new places, foods and cultures. She loves cooking using new ingredients and recipes from all the places she visits. Carme also enjoys swimming and walking—she says walking helps her think, focus and relax, but that she enjoys it most in the company of friends and family. Every night, before going to sleep, she enjoys reading in either Catalan, Spanish or English. That’s why each time she moves to a new location, Carme’s first priority is to join the local library.
For Carme, the pace of global change won’t slow down any time soon. Human activity is already transforming the earth's surface and altering its dynamics with clear negative consequences for the biosphere. But through the Bachelor in Environmental Sciences for Sustainability, she is set to equip her students with the tools they need to embark on their own unique career paths and explore roads that are still uncharted.