Professor of the week: Nicole Mölders
Department: Atmospheric Sciences
Years Teaching at UAF: 9
When did you first move to Alaska?
I was spending my sabbatical at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. It’s kind of the place to go if you are an atmospheric scientist. I had the habit of going to the library over lunch, and looking through the magazines. There was this advertisement for the position here. I called my husband and said to him, ‘There’s a position that exactly fits my profile. The only thing that’s missing is my name on it!” And he said, “Well, then apply!’” ‘Well, it’s in Fairbanks.’ He said, “Apply!” “But, you know, Fairbanks is in Alaska.” And he said, “Apply!” So, that’s what brought us up here.
What’s your favorite thing about Alaska?
The people. And I love the weather!
What’s your favorite class to teach?
Numerical Modeling and Permineralization Methods. That’s my favorite.
Because I am a modeler and I love what I do. But, if you want a class that I would like to teach, it would be Fashion 101!
What do you feel best describes you as a person?
Bagheera [from The Jungle Book].
Because I try to help people. And I love doing that. And that’s what Bagheera is doing.
What is your favorite film?
“Shall We Dance.” Because I am a ballroom dancer and my favorite is the Argentine Tango.
How long have you been ballroom dancing?
Oh, I started dancing in high school. I was on the high school dance team. And I then was on the Rock and Roll dance team. I started doing ballroom when I was a graduate student.
Do the students have any nicknames for you?
Well, “Frau Docktor.” That was my nickname at the old university in Leipzig. Which means “Mrs. Doctor.’” And here, I have the nickname “Doctor Nicole.’” Or, “Ma’am.”
Which do you prefer?
Ma’am! I know it sounds old, but it sounds nice.
Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco.
How would you describe your teaching style?
I like to be interactive and have the student engaged. And to spin-up a discussion with the students. And I think it’s possible to do this because I only teach graduate students.
What are you looking forward to doing this summer?
Wearing my stripey sandals!
Do you have any plans this summer?
I’ll be gardening and going dancing as usual.
How many languages do you speak?
German, English, French, Dutch. And I wouldn’t say that I speak it, but I have five years of Latin.
How do you relax after a difficult week?
Well, I try and find out where there’s something going on where I can go dancing, and dance my heels off. And that makes me forget everything!