The island of Adak, Alaska, is well-known for being a military base during World War II. But years before that, a pirate is said to have buried about 150 cans filled with gold coins valued at over $350 million. Netflix’s ‘Pirate Gold of Adak Island’ chronicles Adak’s mayor, Thom Spitler, on his quest to find this buried treasure with the help of a team of experts. Part of that team is Dr. M Jackson, a renowned geographer and glaciologist. So, let’s find out more about her then, shall we?
Who is Dr. M Jackson?
Growing up, M’s father worked as a welder and spent time on Adak. On the show, she talked about hearing many stories about the place from him and dreamed about visiting the area. M was instrumental to the team because of her understanding of geology and how the landscape changed over a period of time. This would help the team narrow down the area they hoped to search for the gold coins.
M received her doctorate from the University of Oregon, with her research centered on how climate change affected the glacier communities in Iceland and its people. Apart from receiving three US Fulbright grants she used for research in Turkey and Iceland, she received a US Fulbright Ambassadorship. M spent a lot of time in Iceland, with her second Fulbright project being based in Höfn. She said, “the Icelandic people have a really strong relationship with their landscape, and that landscape is changing as the glaciers recede. I hope to understand how such rapid change is culturally processed.”
In 2018, M became a TED Fellow, making her one of twenty people from around the world who affected change in a big way. The geographer and glaciologist has spent more than a decade in the Arctic documenting climate change and how it affected the communities there. In addition, M has guided several Arctic backcountry trips and explored the many glacial systems that are a part of the area.
Where is Dr. M Jackson Today?
M previously worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia and has a master’s degree from the University of Montana. Currently, she is an Arctic Expert for the National Geographic Society and serves as a guide on the trips offered by them. In the past, M was featured on National Geographic’s ‘Into Water’ series. Besides traveling and exploration, M has written books like ‘While Glaciers Slept’ and ‘The Secret Lives of Glaciers.’ She is a public speaker as well. M lives in Eugene, Oregon, and has been married to Jonathan Marshall for almost six years, recently giving birth to a son.