Cryospheric Research Roundup

March 2014

IceBridge Begins 2014 Arctic Campaign


Researchers from Operation IceBridge left NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., on March 10 for Greenland to begin a new season of collecting data on Arctic land and sea ice. Flights will run through May 23 from Thule Air Base and Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, with a weeklong deployment to Fairbanks, Alaska. The first part of the campaign will focus on sea ice in the Arctic Ocean north of Greenland and in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas north of Alaska. The remainder of the campaign will turn to measuring ice surface elevation and thickness at many of the Greenland Ice Sheet's outlet glaciers.

New Expedition to Measure Greenland Firn Aquifer


A team of researchers from University of Utah and NASA Goddard Space Center’s Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory headed back to southeast Greenland in March to continue investigating the physical properties of a perennial firn aquifer, a large reservoir of water trapped within the ice sheet. This will be the second field trip to the aquifer for the researchers -- this year, the team will maintain the temperature-measuring equipment left in place by the previous expedition, collect additional radar measurements, install a weather station, and try traditional ground-water techniques to date the stored water and calculate its permeability.

  • Follow the Greenland Aquifer Team expedition on their blog.

December 2013 - February 2014

Cryo Lab Members Receive Robert H. Goddard awards

Three members of the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory received 2013 Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement Awards.


Christy Hansen and Michael Studinger received a team leadership award for their extraordinary efforts and meticulous planning and implementation of Operation IceBridge missions that are enabling 3-dimensional views of the Earth’s polar regions.


Sophie Nowicki received a mentoring award, for attracting and mentoring talented students and postdocs into the challenging field of numerical modeling to improve our understanding of global climate and sea level rise.

October-November 2013

IceBridge’s First Antarctic Campaign from McMurdo Station


Operation IceBridge begun its 2013 Antarctic field campaign with a survey of the Transantarctic Mountains on Nov. 18. Unlike previous years, when IceBridge Antarctic missions were conducted out of Punta Arenas, Chile, this year the flights will leave from he National Science Foundation's McMurdo Station in Antarctica. The new base of operations will allow IceBridge to survey areas that had been too remote from Chile, such as the Ross Sea area.

To learn more, visit the IceBridge website

History of Winter 2014: Registration Open


Educators can now register for the 2014 edition of History of Winter, a week-long workshop for elementary and secondary science teachers to experience the world of cryospheric science research. Guided by professional glaciologists, the participants will spend the week of February 13- in Lake Placid, New York learning about common field research techniques that are often used as ground validation for NASA satellite missions.

To register, visit the HOW website

Posters on NASA’s Work in Greenland Available for Download


Ice in Motion, a series of posters depicting NASA’s work in Greenland, is now freely available for download here. The posters, which were translated into Danish and Greenlandic with the help of high school students, are currently on display at several airports and high schools in Greenland. The posters were designed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory, in collaboration with the United States Embassy in Copenhagen, the government of Greenland and the Joint Committee, a forum involving the Greenlandic, Danish and U.S. governments.

Read more about this exhibit in The Arctic Journal.


July-September 2013

Comiso’s Role in IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

Photo of Josefino Comiso

Josefino “Joey” Comiso, Senior Research Scientist at Goddard’s Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory, is coordinating lead author for “Chapter 4: Observations: Cryosphere” of the Fifth Assessment Report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Comiso is also a contributing author to one of the most popular portions of the new report, the Summary for Policymakers, and he traveled to Copenhagen in late September to participate in the negotiations over the wording of this summary.

New Members of the Lab

Photo of Walt Meier

Walt Meier started at the lab as a research scientist in July. Meier, whose research focuses on remote sensing of sea ice, development of new sea ice products and sea ice climate data records, and analyzing changes in the Arctic sea ice cover, comes from the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he worked as a research scientist from 2003 to 2013. He had previously been an adjunct assistant professor in the Oceanography Department at the U.S. Naval Academy and a visiting scientist at the U.S. National Ice Center.

Photo of Nathan Kurtz

Nathan Kurtz, who first joined the lab in 2005 as a graduate research assistant, became a civil servant on July 1. In his new role as a research physical scientist, Kurtz works on NASA's Operation IceBridge project as well as the ICESat and CryoSat-2 satellite missions.

Photo of Christopher Crawford

Christopher Crawford joined the lab in August as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow. Crawford comes to NASA Goddard from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he recently completed a Ph.D. in the Department of Geography. His research focuses on developing multi-sensor visible/infrared snow cover climate data records of seasonal mountain snowpack extent across the western United States for climate variability and change study.

Read more research news in our Research Roundup Archives.

Cryospheric Sciences at NASA Goddard

Cryospheric research at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center addresses the physics of ice sheets and glaciers, sea ice, snow on ice and land, and their roles in the global climate system.

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