Kathrin Höppner has worked at the DLR German Remote Sensing Data Center since 2003. It all began with an internship in the Atmosphere Department. She then completed her diploma and doctoral thesis, concentrating on the analysis of temperature time series in the upper atmosphere. At first glance, the topic had little in common with her actual degree course in geography. Nevertheless, geography retained its importance and it continued to spur Höppner on to travel to distant shores. After her postdoc she was driven to travel once more - to Antarctica - about the furthest place possible on this planet. In 2012, Höppner spent a year working as an atmospheric chemist in the German Neumayer III station, joining the 32nd winter team from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. The eternal ice, the polar night and the cold were the factors that enthralled her the most, and which continue to dominate her career. Fortunately for us all.
Kathrin Höppner returned to the German Remote Sensing Data Center in 2013, joining the International Ground Segment, where she built a service to help research vessels navigate through the ice-covered waters of the Antarctic using near real-time data from the TerraSAR-X satellite mission. During this period, she also received funding from the DLR Space Administration to establish a junior research team to focus on monitoring change processes in the Antarctic, and in the Antarctic Peninsula especially. She moved with this group to the Land Surface Department in 2017 and has since been appointed Group Leader for Polar and Cold Regions. Her research interests include the development of global snow cover or changes in glaciers and ice shelves, just as much as investigations into the effects of atmospheric circulation in the Antarctic on the surface temperature or sea ice. It is true what people say: the Antarctic defines lives.