Cryospheric Sciences (615) Local News Archive

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Earth Matters Blog: Glory of the Pilot

Glories—colorful, circular optical phenomenon caused by water droplets scattering light—are frequently spotted by scientists and crew with NASA’s Operation IceBridge mission

ICESat-2 at the 5th USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo

Children, teens and their families had an opportunity to learn about the ICESat-2 mission and experience ICESat-2’s altimeter interactive exhibit at the 5th USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo on April 7-8, in Washington, DC. While some participants had their heights measured with the exhibit’s mock-up satellite, others leveraged NASA’s Scavenger Hunt to ask lots of questions about the mission and how it can help our Earth!

FutureCon: NASA Science in the Extremes

As a part of the AwesomeCon conference in Washington, D.C., a panel of NASA scientists presented on research in extreme conditions.

Petty quoted in Earther article on the Arctic

Alek Petty was mentioned in this write-up on the changes in the Arctic.

Poster Blowout 2018

Note from the Director:
I would like to thank the Director’s Science Committee for putting on an amazingly successful event where scientists and engineers across Goddard shared their work and made new contacts. The interdisciplinary interactions were especially exciting and crossed all four science disciplines.

Click the title of this news item or the image below for more images from the poster party. scientists standing in front of a poster

EO Kids : Ice on Earth: By Land & By Sea

This month, EO Kids is covering a “cool” topic in Earth science. The newest edition of EO Kids, "Ice on Earth: By Land & By Sea," covers two types of ice on the Earth’s surface and how NASA scientists use satellites to study these frozen features from space. Plus, follow two NASA scientists on their extreme camping trip for science across an unexplored stretch of Antarctica.

Antarctica from Above: Flying for Science, Finding Beauty

Photographs from the 2017 Operation IceBridge field campaign show the many forms of land and sea ice around the frozen (and melting) southern continent.

Notes from the Field: ICESat-2 Antarctic Traverse

Greetings from New Zealand!

Soon, we’ll report back from even further south. We’re headed to the heart of the Antarctic ice sheet, to collect measurements on the ground for the ICESat-2 mission.

Medley Talks Lasers at Awesome Con

Brooke Medley participated in "NASA's Space Lasers," a panel on the agency's latest laser technology that was held on June 16 at Awesome Con, Washington D.C.’s annual comics and pop culture convention. Medley discussed the science behind ICESat-2 -- specifically, why NASA is studying the Earth’s ice sheets and how the scientific community will use ICESat-2’s lasers to improve their understanding of polar ice.

Earth Matters Blog: Icy Landscapes Near Svalbard

NASA’s Operation IceBridge 2017 Arctic campaign included flights out of the Norwegian archipelago.

Poinar Gives TED Talk

On Apr. 26, glaciologist Kristin Poinar spoke at a session of the popular TED Talks that focused on climate change. Poinar discussed her recent work on a perennial aquifer that lies buried within the Greenland Ice Sheet. Poinar’s numeric models have shown that the water from the aquifer is reaching the bedrock underneath the ice, ultimately draining to the ocean and contributing to sea level rise.

During her talk, Poinar highlighted the role of satellites in advancing polar science: “Aircraft and satellites are revolutionizing glaciology. They’re revealing new, hidden facts about the ice sheet constantly.”

New Lab Member

Tyler Sutterley joined the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory in April as a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow. Sutterley comes from the Earth System Science Department at the University of California, Irvine.There, he used a combination of remote sensing observations from NASA's GRACE, ICESat-1 and Operation IceBridge missions and climate model outputs to study modern-day changes of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. During his fellowship at Goddard, he'll use laser altimetry observations from Operation IceBridge, ICESat-1 and the upcoming ICESat-2 mission to investigate elevation changes in the Antarctic Peninsula and in West Antarctica, currently the biggest Antarctic contributors to sea level rise. Using the suite of elevation data, he'll investigate the impacts of ice shelf thinning, degradation and loss on the behavior of the inland glaciers flowing into the shelves.

Earth Matters Blog: Green Ice and Snow

You never know where phytoplankton will turn up next...

Video Roundup: Snow, Snow Everywhere

In a March oundup of the latest eye-catching earth science videos from NASA and beyond, snow emerged as a theme.

Nowicki and Krabill Receive Most Valuable Player Awards

The NASA Cryospheric Science Program and Operation IceBridge recognized the work of Sophie Nowicki and Kyle Krabill during the Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment and Operation IceBridge’s annual meetings, held at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in January.

Comiso Retires After Almost 40 Years At NASA

Josefino “Joey” Comiso retired from NASA on January 3rd. During his nearly 40 years at NASA, Comiso has published over 130 refereed journal articles, 20 book chapters, four co-authored books, and a 500-page singly-authored book, Polar Oceans from Space. He received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 2013 and NASA’s Career Achievement Award in 2014.

New Civil Servant

Melinda Webster, who joined the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory as a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow in 2016, became a civil servant on January 9th. As a research physical scientist, Melinda studies Arctic sea ice through the development and application of remote sensing products with in situ data. Her research focuses on the geophysical changes of the Arctic sea ice cover to improve knowledge of the role of sea ice in the global climate system.

Four GSFC scientists were named AGU fellows

Paul MahaffyClaire ParkinsonBrent HolbenNat Gopalswamy
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) today announced its 2016 Fellows, an honor given to individual AGU members who have made exceptional scientific contributions and gained prominence in their respective fields of Earth and space sciences. Since the AGU Fellows program was established in 1962, and according to the organization’s bylaws, no more than 0.01 percent of the total membership of AGU is recognized annually. This year’s class of Fellows are geographically diverse coming from 18 states and eight countries and includes Goddard scientists Paul Mahaffy, Claire Parkinson, Brent Holben, and Nat Gopalswamy.

Blog Notes from the Field: Into the Ice

Laboratory scientist Alek Petty writes, "After five days of cruising through open water, it was clear we had to change course and venture further north to find ice."

The 2016 Beaufort Gyre Exploration Project: Searching for Sea Ice

Alek Petty, a sea ice scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, is currently making his way to the northern coast of Canada (a small town called Kugluktuk) to embark on the 2016 Joint Ocean Ice Study (JOIS) – a research expedition around the Arctic Ocean’s Beaufort Gyre.

New Lab Member

Melinda Webster joined the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory in September as a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow. She comes from the University of Washington, where she completed a Ph.D. in Oceanography researching snow and melt ponds on Arctic sea ice. During her fellowship at Goddard, she'll use laser altimetry data from NASA’s ICESat and Operation IceBridge missions to investigate the topographic changes in first-year and multiyear sea ice, and the effects of those changes on spring snow distributions and summer melt pond coverage.

Science Jamboree event photos

The 2016 Science Jamboree was a great success! A collection of 50 photos from the event are available now.

A Satellite Scientist Visits the Ice, Alaska 2016

Walt Meier is heading to Barrow, Alaska – the northernmost point in the United States at 71 degrees N latitude – to partake in a unique project.

Two New Lab Members

Joe MacGregor joined NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory as a research physical scientist. Joe is a glaciologist and geophysicist with a Ph.D. from University of Washington, who studies the past and present flow of modern ice sheets and the controls on their dynamics. In particular, he seeks to understand why ice sheets flow more quickly in some areas than in others, how their flow evolves over time and how we can better observe the properties that control ice-sheet flow. These are critical concerns for Earth’s two remaining ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Together with a diverse set of collaborators, Joe synthesizes results from a variety of methods, including radar sounding (from NASA's Operation IceBridge, among other sources), satellite remote sensing (Landsat, MODIS, InSAR), ground-based surveys (ice-core chemistry, borehole thermometry) and laboratory measurements (dielectric spectroscopy) to better understand ice sheets as systems.

Lauren Andrews joined the laboratory in February as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow. Lauren completed her Ph.D. at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, where her work focused on using field observations to explore how the evolution in space and time of the subglacial hydrologic system can alter the seasonal pattern of ice motion in the ablation zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Here at Goddard, Lauren will continue her work on the dynamic interaction between water and ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet using both GPS and satellite data to examine how the state of the subglacial hydrologic system impacts non-local ice dynamics and characterize the extent to which the annual pattern of ice motion impacts ice sheet mass loss.

New Lab Member

Kristin Poinar started working at the laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow after obtaining her Ph.D. at University of Washington. She examines how the shear margins affect the flow of Jakobshavn Isbrae, a large glacier in western Greenland. Shear margins are areas of ice that become heavily crevassed and broken up due to the fast motion of the glacier. Because the glacier has been moving faster in recent years, scientists think that the shear margins have become even more broken up and weakened, which would allow the glacier to move even faster. Kristin is using a combination of ice-sheet models and elevation and radar data from Operation IceBridge to investigate changes in the shear margins and how much they control the motion of the Jakobshavn Glacier, which is one of the wildcards in Greenland’s future contribution to global sea level.
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