Nathan T Kurtz

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Nathan T Kurtz

  • RSCH AST, EARTH SCIENCES REMOTE SENS
  • 301.614.5013
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 615
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: NASA
  • Brief Bio

    Nathan Kurtz received the B.S. degree in Physics from Iowa State University in 2004, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in 2007 and 2009, respectively. He joined the Cryospheric Sciences Branch in the Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 2013. His research interests are in remote sensing of the polar regions with an emphasis on the use radar and laser altimetry data. He is currently the IceBridge Project Scientist and is the principle investigator responsible for the production of the IceBridge community sea ice data products.

    Research Interests

    Sea ice thickness studies from airborne and satellite sensors

    Remote sensing of the polar regions with an emphasis on the use laser altimetry and model data to study the impact of sea ice on the climate. Development and validation of algorithms and models for the retrieval of sea ice properties through the combined use of satellite, airborne, model, and in-situ data. I am specifically working on retrieval algorithms for Arctic and Antarctic sea ice thickness from laser altimetry measurements from ICESat and IceBridge, and radar altimetry measurements from CryoSat-2 and IceBridge.

    Current Projects

    Operation IceBridge

    I am utilizing laser, radar, and visible imagery data sets from the IceBridge project to construct a sea ice thickness time series for the Arctic and Antarctic. The data are also being used to improve model parameterizations and evaluate satellite-based retrievals of sea ice thickness from the CryoSat-2 radar altimeter.

    CryoSat-2 sea ice thickness retrievals

    I am working on physical modeling of CryoSat-2 radar returns over sea ice to develop improved retrieval algorithms of sea ice freeboard and thickness.

    Positions/Employment

    1/2010 - 1/2012

    Research Associate

    Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center (GEST/UMBC), Greenbelt, MD
    7/2013 - Present

    Physical Scientist

    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

    Education

    Ph.D. Atmospheric Physics, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 2009.
    Thesis: Application of satellite laser altimetry data to studies of sea ice properties and processes

    M.S. Atmospheric Physics, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 2007.

    B.S. Physics, Iowa State University, 2004.

    Professional Societies

    American Geophysical Union, 2009 - Present

    Publications

    Refereed

    Nihashi, S., N. T. Kurtz, T. Markus, et al. K. I. Ohshima, K. Tateyama, and T. Toyota. 2018. "Estimation of sea-ice thickness and volume in the Sea of Okhotsk based on ICESat data." Annals of Glaciology, 1-11 [10.1017/aog.2018.8]

    Petty, A. A., D. Schröder, J. C. Stroeve, et al. T. Markus, J. Miller, N. T. Kurtz, D. L. Feltham, and D. Flocco. 2017. "Skillful spring forecasts of September Arctic sea ice extent using passive microwave sea ice observations." Earth's Future, 5: 254–263 [10.1002/2016EF000495]

    Petty, A. A., M. C. Tsamados, and N. T. Kurtz. 2017. "Atmospheric form drag coefficients over Arctic sea ice using remotely sensed ice topography data, spring 2009-2015." Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 122: [10.1002/2017jf004209]

    Kwok, R., N. T. Kurtz, L. Brucker, et al. A. Ivanoff, T. Newman, S. L. Farrell, J. King, S. Howell, M. A. Webster, J. Paden, C. Leuschen, J. A. Macgregor, J. Richter-Menge, J. Harbeck, and M. Tschudi. 2017. "Inter-comparison of snow depth retrievals over Arctic sea ice fromradar data acquired by Operation IceBridge." The Cryosphere, 2571-2593 [10.5194/tc-2017-103]

    Petty, A. A., M. C. Tsamados, N. T. Kurtz, et al. S. L. Farrell, T. Newman, J. P. Harbeck, D. L. Feltham, and J. A. Richter-Menge. 2016. "Characterizing Arctic sea ice topography using high-resolution IceBridge data." The Cryosphere, 10 (3): 1161-1179 [10.5194/tc-10-1161-2016]

    Price, D., J. Beckers, R. Ricker, et al. N. Kurtz, W. Rack, C. Haas, V. Helm, S. Hendricks, G. Leonard, and P. Langhorne. 2015. "Evaluation of CryoSat-2 derived sea-ice freeboard over fast ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica." Journal of Glaciology, 61 (226): 285-300 [10.3189/2015jog14j157]

    King, J., S. Howell, C. Derksen, et al. N. Rutter, P. Toose, J. F. Beckers, C. Haas, N. Kurtz, and J. Richter-Menge. 2015. "Evaluation of Operation IceBridge quick-look snow depth estimates on sea ice." Geophysical Research Letters, 42 (21): 9302-9310 [10.1002/2015gl066389]

    Tsamados, M., D. Feltham, D. Schroeder, et al. D. Flocco, S. Farrell, N. Kurtz, S. Laxon, and S. Bacon. 2014. "Impact of Variable Atmospheric and Oceanic Form Drag on Simulations of Arctic Sea Ice." J. Phys. Oceanog., 44 (5): 1329-1353 [10.1175/JPO-D-13-0215.1]

    Holland, P., N. Bruneau, M. C. Enright, et al. M. Losch, N. T. Kurtz, and R. Kwok. 2014. "Modeled Trends in Antarctic Sea Ice Thickness." J. Climate, 27 (10): 3784-3801 [10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00301.1]

    Kurtz, N. T., N. Galin, and M. Studinger. 2014. "An improved CryoSat-2 sea ice freeboard retrieval algorithm through the use of waveform fitting." The Cryosphere, 8 (4): 1217-1237 [10.5194/tc-8-1217-2014]

    Webster, M. A., I. G. Rigor, S. V. Nghiem, et al. N. T. Kurtz, S. L. Farrell, D. K. Perovich, and M. Sturm. 2014. "Interdecadal changes in snow depth on Arctic sea ice." J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 119 (8): 5395–5406 [10.1002/2014JC009985]

    Yi, D., J. P. Harbeck, S. S. Manizade, et al. N. T. Kurtz, M. Studinger, and M. A. Hofton. 2014. "Arctic sea ice freeboard retrieval with waveform characteristics for NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (LVIS)." IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 53 (3): 1403-1410 [10.1109/TGRS.2014.2339737]

    Newman, T., S. L. Farrell, J. Richter-Menge, et al. L. N. Connor, N. T. Kurtz, B. C. Elder, and D. McAdoo. 2014. "Assessment of radar-derived snow depth over Arctic sea ice." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 119 (12): 8578-8602 [10.1002/2014jc010284]

    Kurtz, N. T., J. Richter-Menge, S. L. Farrell, et al. M. Studinger, J. Paden, J. G. Sonntag, and J. K. Yungel. 2013. "IceBridge Airborne Survey Data Support Arctic Sea Ice Predictions." Eos Trans. AGU, 94 (4): 41 [10.1002/2013EO040001]

    Koenig, L., J. Box, and N. Kurtz. 2013. "Improving Surface Mass Balance Over Ice Sheets and Snow Depth on Sea Ice." Eos Trans. AGU, 94 (10): 100 [10.1002/2013EO100006]

    Onana, V., N. Kurtz, S. Farrell, et al. L. Koenig, M. Studinger, and J. Harbeck. 2013. "A Sea-Ice Lead Detection Algorithm for Use With High-Resolution Airborne Visible Imagery." IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sensing, 51 (1): 38-56 [10.1109/TGRS.2012.2202666]

    Kurtz, N., S. Farrell, M. Studinger, et al. N. Galin, J. Harbeck, R. Lindsay, V. Onana, B. Panzer, and J. Sonntag. 2013. "Sea ice thickness, freeboard, and snow depth products from Operation IceBridge airborne data." The Cryosphere, 7 (4): 1035–1056 [10.5194/tc-7-1035-2013]

    Laxon, S., K. Giles, A. Ridout, et al. D. Wingham, R. Willatt, R. Cullen, R. Kwok, J. Zhang, C. Haas, S. Hendricks, R. Krishfield, N. T. Kurtz, S. L. Farrell, and M. Davidson. 2013. "CryoSat-2 estimates of Arctic sea ice thickness and volume." Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (4): 732-737 [10.1002/grl.50193]

    Kurtz, N. T., and T. Markus. 2012. "Satellite observations of Antarctic sea ice thickness and volume." J. Geophys. Res., 117 (C8): C08025 [10.1029/2012JC008141]

    Farrell, S. L., N. T. Kurtz, L. Connor, et al. B. Elder, C. Leuschen, T. Markus, D. C. McAdoo, B. Panzer, J. Richter-Menge, and J. G. Sonntag. 2012. "A First Assessment of IceBridge Snow and Ice Thickness Data Over Arctic Sea Ice." IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sensing, 50 (6): 2098-2111 [10.1109/TGRS.2011.2170843]

    Lindsay, R., C. Haas, S. Hendricks, et al. P. Hunkeler, N. Kurtz, J. Paden, B. Panzer, J. Sonntag, J. Yungel, and J. Zhang. 2012. "Seasonal forecasts of Arctic sea ice initialized with observations of ice thickness." Geophysical Research Letters, 39 (21): L21502 [10.1029/2012GL053576]

    Markus, T., R. Massom, T. Worby, et al. V. Lytle, N. T. Kurtz, and T. Maksym. 2011. "Freeboard, snow depth, and sea ice roughness in East Antarctica from in-situ and multiple satellite data." Annals of Glaciology, 52 (57):

    Kurtz, N., and S. Farrell. 2011. "Large-scale surveys of snow depth on Arctic sea ice from Operation IceBridge." Geophysical Research Letters, 38 (20): L20505 [10.1029/2011GL049216]

    Kurtz, N., T. Markus, S. Farrell, D. Worthen, and L. Boisvert. 2011. "Observations of recent Arctic sea ice volume loss and its impact on ocean-atmosphere energy exchange and ice production." J. Geophys. Res., 116 (C4): C04015 [10.1029/2010JC006235]

    Kurtz, N., T. Markus, D. J. Cavalieri, et al. L. Sparling, B. Krabill, A. Gasiewski, and J. G. Sonntag. 2009. "Estimation of sea ice thickness distributions through the combination of snow depth and satellite laser altimetry data." J Geophys Res, 114 (C10): C10007 [10.1029/2009JC005292]

    Kurtz, N., T. Markus, D. J. Cavalieri, et al. B. Krabill, J. G. Sonntag, and J. Miller. 2008. "Comparison of ICESat Data With Airborne Laser Altimeter Measurements Over Arctic Sea Ice." IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sensing, 46 (7): 1913-1924 [10.1109/TGRS.2008.916639]

    Non-Refereed

    Petty, A. A., T. Markus, and N. T. Kurtz. 2017. "Improving our understanding of Antarctic sea ice with NASA's Operation IceBridge and the upcoming ICESat-2 mission." US CLIVAR Variations 15 (3):

    Yi, D., N. T. Kurtz, J. P. Harbeck, et al. S. S. Manizade, M. A. Hofton, H. G. Cornejo, H. J. Zwally, and J. W. Robbins. 2016. "Antarctic sea-ice freeboard and estimated thickness from NASA's ICESAT and ICEBRIDGE observations." 2016 IEEE INTERNATIONAL GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING SYMPOSIUM (IGARSS), Beijing, China, 10-15 July 2016 7682-7685, ISBN: 978-1-5090-3332-4 . [10.1109/IGARSS.2016.7731003]

    Brief Bio

    Nathan Kurtz received the B.S. degree in Physics from Iowa State University in 2004, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in 2007 and 2009, respectively. He joined the Cryospheric Sciences Branch in the Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 2013. His research interests are in remote sensing of the polar regions with an emphasis on the use radar and laser altimetry data. He is currently the IceBridge Project Scientist and is the principle investigator responsible for the production of the IceBridge community sea ice data products.

    Publications

    Refereed

    Nihashi, S., N. T. Kurtz, T. Markus, et al. K. I. Ohshima, K. Tateyama, and T. Toyota. 2018. "Estimation of sea-ice thickness and volume in the Sea of Okhotsk based on ICESat data." Annals of Glaciology 1-11 [10.1017/aog.2018.8]

    Petty, A. A., D. Schröder, J. C. Stroeve, et al. T. Markus, J. Miller, N. T. Kurtz, D. L. Feltham, and D. Flocco. 2017. "Skillful spring forecasts of September Arctic sea ice extent using passive microwave sea ice observations." Earth's Future 5 254–263 [10.1002/2016EF000495]

    Petty, A. A., M. C. Tsamados, and N. T. Kurtz. 2017. "Atmospheric form drag coefficients over Arctic sea ice using remotely sensed ice topography data, spring 2009-2015." Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 122 [10.1002/2017jf004209]

    Kwok, R., N. T. Kurtz, L. Brucker, et al. A. Ivanoff, T. Newman, S. L. Farrell, J. King, S. Howell, M. A. Webster, J. Paden, C. Leuschen, J. A. Macgregor, J. Richter-Menge, J. Harbeck, and M. Tschudi. 2017. "Inter-comparison of snow depth retrievals over Arctic sea ice fromradar data acquired by Operation IceBridge." The Cryosphere 2571-2593 [10.5194/tc-2017-103]

    Petty, A. A., M. C. Tsamados, N. T. Kurtz, et al. S. L. Farrell, T. Newman, J. P. Harbeck, D. L. Feltham, and J. A. Richter-Menge. 2016. "Characterizing Arctic sea ice topography using high-resolution IceBridge data." The Cryosphere 10 (3): 1161-1179 [10.5194/tc-10-1161-2016]

    Price, D., J. Beckers, R. Ricker, et al. N. Kurtz, W. Rack, C. Haas, V. Helm, S. Hendricks, G. Leonard, and P. Langhorne. 2015. "Evaluation of CryoSat-2 derived sea-ice freeboard over fast ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica." Journal of Glaciology 61 (226): 285-300 [10.3189/2015jog14j157]

    King, J., S. Howell, C. Derksen, et al. N. Rutter, P. Toose, J. F. Beckers, C. Haas, N. Kurtz, and J. Richter-Menge. 2015. "Evaluation of Operation IceBridge quick-look snow depth estimates on sea ice." Geophysical Research Letters 42 (21): 9302-9310 [10.1002/2015gl066389]

    Tsamados, M., D. Feltham, D. Schroeder, et al. D. Flocco, S. Farrell, N. Kurtz, S. Laxon, and S. Bacon. 2014. "Impact of Variable Atmospheric and Oceanic Form Drag on Simulations of Arctic Sea Ice." J. Phys. Oceanog. 44 (5): 1329-1353 [10.1175/JPO-D-13-0215.1]

    Holland, P., N. Bruneau, M. C. Enright, et al. M. Losch, N. T. Kurtz, and R. Kwok. 2014. "Modeled Trends in Antarctic Sea Ice Thickness." J. Climate 27 (10): 3784-3801 [10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00301.1]

    Kurtz, N. T., N. Galin, and M. Studinger. 2014. "An improved CryoSat-2 sea ice freeboard retrieval algorithm through the use of waveform fitting." The Cryosphere 8 (4): 1217-1237 [10.5194/tc-8-1217-2014]

    Webster, M. A., I. G. Rigor, S. V. Nghiem, et al. N. T. Kurtz, S. L. Farrell, D. K. Perovich, and M. Sturm. 2014. "Interdecadal changes in snow depth on Arctic sea ice." J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 119 (8): 5395–5406 [10.1002/2014JC009985]

    Yi, D., J. P. Harbeck, S. S. Manizade, et al. N. T. Kurtz, M. Studinger, and M. A. Hofton. 2014. "Arctic sea ice freeboard retrieval with waveform characteristics for NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (LVIS)." IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 53 (3): 1403-1410 [10.1109/TGRS.2014.2339737]

    Newman, T., S. L. Farrell, J. Richter-Menge, et al. L. N. Connor, N. T. Kurtz, B. C. Elder, and D. McAdoo. 2014. "Assessment of radar-derived snow depth over Arctic sea ice." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 119 (12): 8578-8602 [10.1002/2014jc010284]

    Kurtz, N. T., J. Richter-Menge, S. L. Farrell, et al. M. Studinger, J. Paden, J. G. Sonntag, and J. K. Yungel. 2013. "IceBridge Airborne Survey Data Support Arctic Sea Ice Predictions." Eos Trans. AGU 94 (4): 41 [10.1002/2013EO040001]

    Koenig, L., J. Box, and N. Kurtz. 2013. "Improving Surface Mass Balance Over Ice Sheets and Snow Depth on Sea Ice." Eos Trans. AGU 94 (10): 100 [10.1002/2013EO100006]

    Onana, V., N. Kurtz, S. Farrell, et al. L. Koenig, M. Studinger, and J. Harbeck. 2013. "A Sea-Ice Lead Detection Algorithm for Use With High-Resolution Airborne Visible Imagery." IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sensing 51 (1): 38-56 [10.1109/TGRS.2012.2202666]

    Kurtz, N., S. Farrell, M. Studinger, et al. N. Galin, J. Harbeck, R. Lindsay, V. Onana, B. Panzer, and J. Sonntag. 2013. "Sea ice thickness, freeboard, and snow depth products from Operation IceBridge airborne data." The Cryosphere 7 (4): 1035–1056 [10.5194/tc-7-1035-2013]

    Laxon, S., K. Giles, A. Ridout, et al. D. Wingham, R. Willatt, R. Cullen, R. Kwok, J. Zhang, C. Haas, S. Hendricks, R. Krishfield, N. T. Kurtz, S. L. Farrell, and M. Davidson. 2013. "CryoSat-2 estimates of Arctic sea ice thickness and volume." Geophysical Research Letters 40 (4): 732-737 [10.1002/grl.50193]

    Kurtz, N. T., and T. Markus. 2012. "Satellite observations of Antarctic sea ice thickness and volume." J. Geophys. Res. 117 (C8): C08025 [10.1029/2012JC008141]

    Farrell, S. L., N. T. Kurtz, L. Connor, et al. B. Elder, C. Leuschen, T. Markus, D. C. McAdoo, B. Panzer, J. Richter-Menge, and J. G. Sonntag. 2012. "A First Assessment of IceBridge Snow and Ice Thickness Data Over Arctic Sea Ice." IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sensing 50 (6): 2098-2111 [10.1109/TGRS.2011.2170843]

    Lindsay, R., C. Haas, S. Hendricks, et al. P. Hunkeler, N. Kurtz, J. Paden, B. Panzer, J. Sonntag, J. Yungel, and J. Zhang. 2012. "Seasonal forecasts of Arctic sea ice initialized with observations of ice thickness." Geophysical Research Letters 39 (21): L21502 [10.1029/2012GL053576]

    Markus, T., R. Massom, T. Worby, et al. V. Lytle, N. T. Kurtz, and T. Maksym. 2011. "Freeboard, snow depth, and sea ice roughness in East Antarctica from in-situ and multiple satellite data." Annals of Glaciology 52 (57):

    Kurtz, N., and S. Farrell. 2011. "Large-scale surveys of snow depth on Arctic sea ice from Operation IceBridge." Geophysical Research Letters 38 (20): L20505 [10.1029/2011GL049216]

    Kurtz, N., T. Markus, S. Farrell, D. Worthen, and L. Boisvert. 2011. "Observations of recent Arctic sea ice volume loss and its impact on ocean-atmosphere energy exchange and ice production." J. Geophys. Res. 116 (C4): C04015 [10.1029/2010JC006235]

    Kurtz, N., T. Markus, D. J. Cavalieri, et al. L. Sparling, B. Krabill, A. Gasiewski, and J. G. Sonntag. 2009. "Estimation of sea ice thickness distributions through the combination of snow depth and satellite laser altimetry data." J Geophys Res 114 (C10): C10007 [10.1029/2009JC005292]

    Kurtz, N., T. Markus, D. J. Cavalieri, et al. B. Krabill, J. G. Sonntag, and J. Miller. 2008. "Comparison of ICESat Data With Airborne Laser Altimeter Measurements Over Arctic Sea Ice." IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sensing 46 (7): 1913-1924 [10.1109/TGRS.2008.916639]

    Non-Refereed

    Petty, A. A., T. Markus, and N. T. Kurtz. 2017. "Improving our understanding of Antarctic sea ice with NASA's Operation IceBridge and the upcoming ICESat-2 mission." US CLIVAR Variations 15 (3):

    Yi, D., N. T. Kurtz, J. P. Harbeck, et al. S. S. Manizade, M. A. Hofton, H. G. Cornejo, H. J. Zwally, and J. W. Robbins. 2016. "Antarctic sea-ice freeboard and estimated thickness from NASA's ICESAT and ICEBRIDGE observations." 2016 IEEE INTERNATIONAL GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING SYMPOSIUM (IGARSS), Beijing, China, 10-15 July 2016 7682-7685 [10.1109/IGARSS.2016.7731003]

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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