Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Thomas Allen Neumann


Thomas Allen Neumann's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.5923
Org Code: 610
Mail Code 610
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Missions & Projects

Brief Bio

Tom Neumann became the Deputy Director of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA Goddard in September 2022 where he helps oversee and guide the incredibly diverse portfolio of research, flight, and modeling projects. Tom's scientific work at Goddard has focused on ICESat-2, the next-generation laser altimeter which launched in 2018. Tom now serves as the ICESat-2 Project Scientist, after serving as the Deputy Project Scientist during the development and implementation stages of ICESat-2 from 2008 to 2018. He also served as the Cryospheric Sciences Lab Chief from Jan 2020 through October 2021. His research included both theoretical and experimental studies of the chemical, physical, and thermodynamic properties of polar snow and ice. He has been involved extensively in field work on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, leading four expeditions and participating in five others between the two poles. Past work has involved studies of snow chemistry on the East Antarctic plateau and calibrating ICESat altimetry data using ground-based GPS surveys in Antarctica.

Tom joined NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in October 2008. Prior to that, he was an assistant professor in the Geology Department at the University of Vermont. He remains an Affiliate Assistant Professor in Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington. He earned a B.A. in geophysical science from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Washington.


1996 - B.A. University of Chicago, Geophysical Science

2003 - Ph.D. University of Washington, Geophysics



2024. "ICESat-2 Onboard Flight Receiver Algorithms: On-orbit Parameter Updates the Impact on Science Driven Observations." Earth and Space Science Open Archive [10.22541/au.170602901.10677851/v1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Lidar attenuation coefficient in the global oceans: insights from ICESat-2 mission." Optics Express 31 (18): 29107 [10.1364/oe.498053] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "ICESat-2/ATLAS at 4 years: instrument performance and projected life." Advanced Photon Counting Techniques XVII [10.1117/12.2665113] [Proceedings]

2023. "SlideRule: Enabling rapid, scalable, open science forthe NASA ICESat-2 mission and beyond." Journal of Open Source Software 8 (81): 4982 [10.21105/joss.04982] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "ICESat-2 Mission: Contributions of a spaceborne lidar to ocean science." OCEANS 2022, Hampton Roads [10.1109/oceans47191.2022.9977260] [Proceedings]

2022. "Simulations of firn processes over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets: 1980–2021." The Cryosphere 16 (10): 3971-4011 [10.5194/tc-16-3971-2022] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Accelerating Ice Loss From Peripheral Glaciers in North Greenland." Geophysical Research Letters 49 (12): [10.1029/2022gl098915] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Brief communication: Preliminary ICESat-2 (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2) measurements of outlet glaciers reveal heterogeneous patterns of seasonal dynamic thickness change." The Cryosphere 16 (4): 1341-1348 [10.5194/tc-16-1341-2022] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Deriving Snow Depth From ICESat-2 Lidar Multiple Scattering Measurements." Frontiers in Remote Sensing 3 [10.3389/frsen.2022.855159] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Assessment of ICESat-2’s Horizontal Accuracy Using Precisely Surveyed Terrains in McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica." IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 60 1-11 [10.1109/tgrs.2022.3147722] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "On‐Orbit Radiometric Performance on ICESat‐2." Earth and Space Science 8 (10): [10.1029/2020ea001503] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "New Ocean Subsurface Optical Properties From Space Lidars: CALIOP/CALIPSO and ATLAS/ICESat‐2." Earth and Space Science 8 (10): [10.1029/2021ea001839] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Passive ground-based optical techniques for monitoring the on-orbit ICESat-2 altimeter geolocation and footprint diameter." Earth and Space Science 8 (10): e2020EA001414 [10.1029/2020EA001414] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "ICESat‐2 Early Mission Synopsis and Observatory Performance." Earth and Space Science 8 (5): [10.1029/2020ea001555] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "The scientific legacy of NASA's Operation IceBridge." Reviews of Geophysics (59): e2020RG000712 [10.1029/2020rg000712] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Comparisons of Satellite and Airborne Altimetry With Ground‐Based Data From the Interior of the Antarctic Ice Sheet." Geophysical Research Letters 48 (2): [10.1029/2020gl090572] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Measuring multiple cosmogenic nuclides in glacial cobbles sheds light on Greenland Ice Sheet processes." Earth and Planetary Science Letters 554 116673 [10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116673] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Greenland Ice Sheet Elevation Change: Direct Observation of Process and Attribution at Summit." Geophysical Research Letters 47 (22): [10.1029/2020gl088864] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Temporal and spatial variability in surface roughness and accumulation rate around 88° S from repeat airborne geophysical surveys." The Cryosphere 14 (10): 3287-3308 [10.5194/tc-14-3287-2020] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Pervasive ice sheet mass loss reflects competing ocean and atmosphere processes." Science eaaz5845 [10.1126/science.aaz5845] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Winter Arctic sea ice thickness from ICESat-2 freeboards." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 125 e2019JC015764 [10.1029/2019jc015764] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Assessment of ICESat‐2 ice sheet surface heights, based on comparisons over the interior of the Antarctic Ice Sheet." Geophysical Research Letters 46 [10.1029/2019GL084886] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "ICESat-2 mission overview and early performance." Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XXIII [10.1117/12.2534938] [Proceedings]

2019. "New Earth Orbiter Provides a Sharper Look at a Changing Planet." Eos 100 [10.1029/2019eo133233] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "The Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite – 2 mission: A global geolocated photon product derived from the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System." Remote Sensing of Environment 233 111325 [10.1016/j.rse.2019.111325] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Surface height and sea ice freeboard of the Arctic Ocean from ICESat‐2: Characteristics and early results." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 2019JC015486 [10.1029/2019jc015486] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Land ice height-retrieval algorithm for NASA's ICESat-2 photon-counting laser altimeter." Remote Sensing of Environment 111352 [10.1016/j.rse.2019.111352] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Characterizing the System Impulse Response Function From Photon-Counting LiDAR Data." IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 57 (9): 6542 - 6551 [10.1109/tgrs.2019.2907230] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Antarctic ice shelf thickness change from multimission lidar mapping." The Cryosphere 13 (7): 1801-1817 [10.5194/tc-13-1801-2019] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "ICE SHEET ELEVATION MAPPING AND CHANGE DETECTION WITH THE ICE, CLOUD AND LAND ELEVATION SATELLITE-2." ISPRS - International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences XLII-2/W13 1747-1751 [10.5194/isprs-archives-xlii-2-w13-1747-2019] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Assessment of altimetry using ground-based GPS data from the 88S Traverse, Antarctica, in support of ICESat-2." The Cryosphere 13 (2): 579-590 [10.5194/tc-13-579-2019] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Radiometric calibration of a non-imaging airborne spectrometer to measure the Greenland Ice Sheet surface." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions 1-37 [10.5194/amt-2018-170] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Lasers, penguins, and polar bears: Novel outreach and education approaches for NASA's ICESat-2 mission." Acta Astronautica 148 396-402 [10.1016/j.actaastro.2018.04.011] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Meteoric 10Be as a tracer of subglacial processes and interglacial surface exposure in Greenland." Quaternary Science Reviews 191 118-131 [10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.05.009] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Seasonal Evolution of the Subglacial Hydrologic System Modified by Supraglacial Lake Drainage in Western Greenland." Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 123 (6): 1479-1496 [10.1029/2017jf004585] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Temperature and snowfall in western Queen Maud Land increasing faster than climate model projections." Geophysical Research Letters 45 (3): 1472-1480 [10.1002/2017gl075992] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Widespread Moulin Formation During Supraglacial Lake Drainages in Greenland." Geophysical Research Letters 45 (2): 778-788 [10.1002/2017gl075659] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Assessment of NASA airborne laser altimetry data using ground-based GPS data near Summit Station, Greenland." The Cryosphere 11 (2): 681-692 [10.5194/tc-11-681-2017] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "An ice sheet model validation framework for the Greenland ice sheet." Geoscientific Model Development 10 (1): 255-270 [10.5194/gmd-10-255-2017] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "The Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2): Science requirements, concept, and implementation." Remote Sensing of Environment 190 260-273 [10.1016/j.rse.2016.12.029] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Greenland subglacial drainage evolution regulated by weakly-connected regions of the bed." Nature Communications 7 Article number: 1390 [10.1038/ncomms13903] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Applications for ICESat-2 Data: From NASA's Early Adopter Program." IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Magazine 4 (4): 24-37 [10.1109/mgrs.2016.2560759] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "MABEL photon-counting laser altimetry data in Alaska for ICESat-2 simulations and development." The Cryosphere 10 (4): 1707-1719 [10.5194/tc-10-1707-2016] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Holocene accumulation and ice flow near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core site." Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 121 (5): 907-924 [10.1002/2015jf003668] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Heat sources within the Greenland Ice Sheet: dissipation, temperate paleo-firn and cryo-hydrologic warming." The Cryosphere 9 (1): 245-253 [10.5194/tc-9-245-2015] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Direct observations of evolving subglacial drainage beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet." Nature 514 (7520): 80–83 [10.1038/nature13796] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Caterpillar-like ice motion in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet." Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 119 (10): 2258-2271 [10.1002/2013jf003067] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Sustained high basal motion of the Greenland ice sheet revealed by borehole deformation." Journal of Glaciology 60 (222): 647-660 [10.3189/2014JoG13J196] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Antarctic-wide array of high-resolution ice core records reveals pervasive lead pollution began in 1889 and persists today." Scientific Reports 4 Article number 5848 [10.1038/srep05848] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Determination of Local Slope on the Greenland Ice Sheet Using a Multibeam Photon-Counting Lidar in Preparation for the ICESat-2 Mission." IEEE Geosci. Remote Sensing Lett. 11 (5): 935-939 [10.1109/LGRS.2013.2282217] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Profiling Sea Ice with a Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL)." Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 31 (5): 1151-1168 [10.1175/JTECH-D-13-00120.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Preservation of a Preglacial Landscape Under the Center of the Greenland Ice Sheet." Science 344 (6182): 402-405 [10.1126/science.1249047] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Algorithm for Detection of Ground and Canopy Cover in Micropulse Photon-Counting Lidar Altimeter Data in Preparation for the ICESat-2 Mission ." IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 52 (4): 2109 - 2125 [10.1109/TGRS.2013.2258350] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Improving Operational Awareness Through ICESat-2 Applications Workshops: Cross-Mission Development." The Earth Observer 26 (3): 15-22 [Full Text] [Newsletter]

2014. "The 1500m South Pole ice core: recovering a 40 ka environmental record." Annals of Glaciology 55 (68): 137-146 [10.3189/2014AoG68A016] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "A ten-year record of supraglacial lake evolution and rapid drainage in West Greenland using an automated processing algorithm for multispectral imagery." The Cryosphere 7 (6): 1869-1877 [10.5194/tc-7-1869-2013] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "The Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL): An Airborne Simulator for the ICESat-2 Mission." Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 30 (2): 345-352 [10.1175/JTECH-D-12-00076.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "ICESat Elevations in Antarctica Along the 2007–09 Norway–USA Traverse: Validation With Ground-Based GPS." IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sensing 51 (3): 1578-1587 [10.1109/TGRS.2012.2207963] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Extent of low-accumulation 'wind glaze' areas on the East Antarctic plateau: implications for continental ice mass balance." Journal of Glaciology 58 (210): 633-647 [10.3189/2012JoG11J232] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Variability of black carbon deposition to the East Antarctic Plateau, 1800–2000 AD." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 12 (8): 3799-3808 [10.5194/acp-12-3799-2012] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Links between acceleration, melting, and supraglacial lake drainage of the western Greenland Ice Sheet." Journal of Geophysical Research 116 (F4): F04035 [10.1029/2010jf001934] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Greenland ice sheet mass balance: distribution of increased mass loss with climate warming 2003-2007 versus 1992-2002." Journal of Glaciology [Full Text] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Paired bedrock and boulder 10Be concentrations resulting from early Holocene ice retreat near Jakobshavn Isfjord, western Greenland." Quaternary Science Reviews 30 (13-14): 1739-1749 [10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.04.001] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "The ICESat-2 Laser Altimetry Mission." Proc. IEEE 98 (5): 735-751 [10.1109/JPROC.2009.2034765] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "Persistent englacial drainage features in the Greenland Ice Sheet." Geophys Res Lett 37 (2): L02501 [10.1029/2009GL041108] [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "Sublimation rate and the mass-transfer coefficient for snow sublimation." International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 52 (1-2): 309-315 [10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2008.06.003] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Seasonal acceleration of inland ice via longitudinal coupling to marginal ice." Journal of Glaciology 54 (185): 213-219 [10.3189/002214308784886117] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Experimental determination of snow sublimation rate and stable-isotopic exchange." Annals of Glaciology 49 (1): 1-6 [10.3189/172756408787814825] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Characterizing englacial drainage in the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet." Journal of Glaciology 54 (187): 567-578 [10.3189/002214308786570854] [Journal Article/Letter]


2013. "ICE, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite 2 (ICESat-2) Applications Plan." NASA Goddard Space Flight Center [Full Text] [Report]