Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Rachel Louise Tilling

(Associate Research Scientist)

Org Code: 615

Mail Code: 615
Greenbelt, MD 20771


Brief Bio

Rachel joined the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in May 2019. Her research focuses on using satellites to monitor changes in the global sea ice cover. Rachel's research has taken her on expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic with NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and British Antarctic Survey (BAS), to conduct ground-based and airborne measurements for satellite validation. 


Associate Research Scientist

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Maryland - Greenbelt, MD, USA

2023 - Present

Assistant Research Scientist

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Maryland - Greenbelt, MD, USA

2019 - 2023

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, University of Leeds - Leeds, UK

2016 - 2019


2016        PhD Polar Remote Sensing                                            

                 University College London, London, UK             

2012        MSc Oceanography                                                   

                 University of Southampton, Southampton, UK                 

2011         BSc Physics    

                  University of Bristol, Bristol, UK                                   



2018             Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)                                                                        Outstanding Paper Award for Young Scientists

                 Women In Aerospace (WIA) Europe

                 Young Professional Award

2016             International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS)                                                          Early Career Scientist Prize



Fons, S. W., N. T. Kurtz, M. Bagnardi, A. A. Petty, and R. L. Tilling. 2021. Assessing CryoSat‐2 Antarctic Snow Freeboard Retrievals Using Data From ICESat‐2 Earth and Space Science 8 (7): [10.1029/2021ea001728]

Zhou, L., J. Stroeve, S. Xu, et al. A. Petty, R. Tilling, M. Winstrup, P. Rostosky, I. R. Lawrence, G. E. Liston, A. Ridout, M. Tsamados, and V. Nandan. 2021. Inter-comparison of snow depth over sea ice from multiple methods The Cryosphere 15 345–367 [10.5194/tc-2020-65]

Tilling, R., N. T. Kurtz, M. Bagnardi, A. A. Petty, and R. Kwok. 2020. Detection of Melt Ponds on Arctic Summer Sea Ice From ICESat‐2 Geophysical Research Letters 47 (23): [10.1029/2020gl090644]

Horvat, C., L. A. Roach, R. Tilling, et al. C. M. Bitz, B. Fox-Kemper, C. Guider, K. Hill, A. Ridout, and A. Shepherd. 2019. Estimating the sea ice floe size distribution using satellite altimetry: theory, climatology, and model comparison The Cryosphere 13 (11): 2869-2885 [10.5194/tc-13-2869-2019]

Tilling, R., A. Ridout, and A. Shepherd. 2019. Assessing the Impact of Lead and Floe Sampling on Arctic Sea Ice Thickness Estimates from Envisat and CryoSat‐2 Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 124 (11): 7473-7485 [10.1029/2019jc015232]

Lawrence, I. R., T. W. Armitage, M. C. Tsamados, et al. J. C. Stroeve, S. Dinardo, A. L. Ridout, A. Muir, R. L. Tilling, and A. Shepherd. 2019. Extending the Arctic sea ice freeboard and sea level record with the Sentinel-3 radar altimeters Advances in Space Research [10.1016/j.asr.2019.10.011]

Schröder, D., D. L. Feltham, M. Tsamados, A. Ridout, and R. Tilling. 2019. New insight from CryoSat-2 sea ice thickness for sea ice modelling The Cryosphere 13 (1): 125-139 [10.5194/tc-13-125-2019]

Allard, R. A., S. L. Farrell, D. A. Hebert, et al. W. F. Johnston, L. Li, N. T. Kurtz, M. W. Phelps, P. G. Posey, R. Tilling, A. Ridout, and A. J. Wallcraft. 2018. Utilizing CryoSat-2 sea ice thickness to initialize a coupled ice-ocean modeling system Advances in Space Research 62 (6): 1265-1280 [10.1016/j.asr.2017.12.030]

Robson, J., R. T. Sutton, A. Archibald, et al. F. Cooper, M. Christensen, L. J. Gray, N. P. Holliday, C. Macintosh, M. McMillan, B. Moat, M. Russo, R. Tilling, K. Carslaw, D. Desbruyères, O. Embury, D. L. Feltham, D. P. Grosvenor, S. Josey, B. King, A. Lewis, G. D. McCarthy, C. Merchant, A. L. New, C. H. O'Reilly, S. M. Osprey, K. Read, A. Scaife, A. Shepherd, B. Sinha, D. Smeed, D. Smith, A. Ridout, T. Woollings, and M. Yang. 2018. Recent multivariate changes in the North Atlantic climate system, with a focus on 2005-2016 International Journal of Climatology 38 (14): 5050-5076 [10.1002/joc.5815]

Tilling, R. L., A. Ridout, and A. Shepherd. 2018. Estimating Arctic sea ice thickness and volume using CryoSat-2 radar altimeter data Advances in Space Research 62 (6): 1203-1225 [10.1016/j.asr.2017.10.051]

Tilling, R. 2018. A Farewell to Ice Underwater Technology 35 (1): 31-32 [10.3723/ut.35.031]

Tilling, R. L., T. J. Young, P. Christoffersen, et al. L. B. Lok, P. V. Brennan, and K. W. Nicholls. 2017. Radar observations of Arctic ice Arcticness: Power and Voice from the North 27--39

Tilling, R. L., A. Ridout, and A. Shepherd. 2016. Near-real-time Arctic sea ice thickness and volume from CryoSat-2 The Cryosphere 10 (5): 2003-2012 [10.5194/tc-10-2003-2016]

Tilling, R. L., A. Ridout, A. Shepherd, and D. J. Wingham. 2015. Increased Arctic sea ice volume after anomalously low melting in 2013 Nature Geoscience 8 (8): 643-646 [10.1038/ngeo2489]