My research projects focus on combining remotely-sensed and in situ observations and numerical ice flow modeling to develop a better understanding of the environmental triggering mechanisms and internal controls of marine-terminating glacier behavior (i.e., glacier dynamics). I am particularly interested in glacier-ocean interactions, namely submarine melting and iceberg calving, and how changes in these interactions influence the rate of mass loss from the fast-flowing glaciers that drain the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. I completed my Ph.D. research under the supervision of Dr. Ian Howat (Glacier Dynamics Group, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center) in 2013. Since then, I have been working at the University of Maine Climate Change Institute. Information on my research interests can be found under the Research tab.
I am also actively involved in a number of outreach activities. I currently co-chair of the US national committee for the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (USAPECS). USAPECS is in its infancy and looking for ways to engage our constituents so please contact me if you have ideas for webinars, online or in-person events, or panel discussions that you would like to have organized at conferences. I also enjoy giving presentations on glaciers and climate change to middle and high school students (see Outreach tab). If you're a teacher looking for a guest speaker, please contact me!
New Project on Antarctic Icebergs: Starting in June, I will be expanding the scope of my research on iceberg melting as part of an NSF-funded project titled "Antarctic Submarine Melt Variability from Remote Sensing of Icebergs". The project will compare spatial and temporal variations in iceberg melt rates, obtained using repeat very-high resolution (~0.5 m pixel width) satellite images, with variations in ice shelf thinning and ocean forcing. The major objectives of the project are to determine whether (1) differences in iceberg melting can be used as a proxy for variations in melting of Antarctica's ice shelves and (2) current ocean models are capable of simulating changes in ocean forcing, which have important implications for our ability to accurately predict future changes in Antarctic ice shelf stability.
UMaine Glaciology in the News! Check-out the press release issued by the American Geophysical Union on iceberg melting in Greenland's glacial fjords: http://news.agu.org/press-release/most-meltwater-in-greenland-fjords-likely-comes-from-icebergs-not-glaciers/
New undergraduate research assistant: Time-lapse photos of glaciers and glacial fjords, like those featured in the movie "Chasing Ice", provide the opportunity to observe rapid changes in ice-ocean interactions. Undergraduate Mike Driscoll is currently working with time-lapse photos from Helheim Glacier in SE Greenland (see real-time photos here: http://glacierresearch.org/realtime-images.html) to characterize changes in iceberg calving. These data will be used to quantify iceberg calving volumes, which will be compared to glacier stress time series in order to assess the glacier's sensitivity to changes in terminus position.
New graduate student: The CCI Glaciology group is happy to add a new graduate student, Will Kochtitzky. Will is assisting with research on my Greenland iceberg melting project: he is extracting iceberg meltwater flux and melt rate estimates for ~6 fjords in Greenland using very high-resolution satellite images. Welcome Will!
Undergraduate Research: Undergraduate research assistant and UMaine junior, Caroline Carrigan, presented her research results on iceberg melting at the UMaine Center for Undergraduate Research symposium. This was Caroline's first scientific poster! She presented her preliminary results on submarine melting for icebergs calved from Alison Glacier in NW Greenland and Zachariae Isstrom in NE Greenland. She's found that 2011 iceberg melt rates were similar in both locations, with an average of ~0.04 m/d and no significant seasonal variations. She'll be expanding her datasets to investigate seasonal and inter-annual variations in iceberg submarine melting near these two glaciers during her senior year at UMaine.