News & Events


Ph.D. Candidate Ashley York’s Research is Highlighted by Clark University’s ClarkNow, March 2017
Ashley York is mapping terminus, or frontal, positions of tidewater glaciers in two bays on the west coast of Greenland.  She hopes her research will provide a deeper understanding of what we already know about sea-level rise and government policy about climate change.  Read more here.

Ph.D. Candidate Melishia Santiago’s Research is Highlighted by Clark University’s ClarkNow, March 2017
Clark University doctoral candidate Melishia Santiago grew up with palm trees and warm weather near sunny Atlantic beaches in Florida and Puerto Rico before coming north to Massachusetts for college.  Now, she spends her time thinking about ice, specifically how climate change impacts sea-ice extent in the western Arctic Ocean.  Read more here.

Ph.D. Research Assistantship in Ocean-Ice Sheet Interactions, West Greenland
The Graduate School of Geography at Clark University invites applications for a Ph.D. research assistantship in satellite remote sensing of ocean-ice sheet interactions across West Greenland.  This NSF-funded project seeks to further our understanding of ocean-ice-atmosphere interactions around the Jakobshavn Isbrae and Disko Bay region of West Greenland, with a particular focus on the role of sea surface temperature and sea ice variability in modulating outlet glacier behavior and ice sheet/cap mass balance.  Ice coring work to reconstruct past environmental conditions will take place over two field seasons.  Candidates should have strong interests in satellite remote sensing, quantitative analysis, and remote fieldwork.  The successful candidate will join the Polar Science Research Laboratory at Clark (http://wordpress.clarku.edu/kfrey/) and will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Wheaton College, University of Washington, and Milton Academy.  For further information, please contact Prof. Karen Frey (kfrey@clarku.edu) and see application details at http://www.clarku.edu/departments/geography/graduate/apply.cfm (deadline December 31, 2012).  Clark University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer.  Minorities and women are strongly encouraged to apply.

Satellite Radar Measurements of Antarctic Surface Melt Intensity, May 2012
Lead authored by Luke Trusel, a study entitled “Antarctic surface melting dynamics: Enhanced perspectives from radar scatterometer data” was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface.  This study utilizes QuikSCAT radar scatterometer data to not only map melt extent/duration but also melt intensity across the Antarctic continent, which is shown to be a valuable proxy for liquid water production during melting events.

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Awarded to Luke Trusel, May 2012
Congratulations to Luke Trusel who received a prestigious 3-year NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship to support his Ph.D. dissertation research at Clark University.  His proposal was entitled: “Antarctic Surface Melting: Intensity, Climatology, and Driving Mechanisms.”

Luke Trusel Advances to Candidacy in the Ph.D. Program, May 2012
Congratulations to Luke Trusel who successfully passed his qualifying examinations and successfully defended his dissertation proposal entitled “Examining the variability, intensity, and climatological context of Antarctic ice sheet surface melting.”  As such, Luke has now officially advanced to candidacy and has ABD status in the Ph.D. program in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark. 

Dylan Broderick Maps Siberian Carbon Stores, May 2012
Congratulations to Dylan Broderick who successfully defended her B.A. honors thesis entitled “Using Landsat-5 TM and Field Data for Land Cover Classification and Terrestrial Carbon Stock Estimation along the Kolyma River near Cherskiy, Russia.”  Dylan will receive her B.A. degree in Geography (with highest honors) from Clark in May 2012.  She will also be returning to Siberia this summer as part of the Polaris Project to conduct fieldwork in support of her M.A. in GISci research, which will officially commence at Clark in Fall 2012.

Christie Wood Advances to Candidacy in the Ph.D. Program, April 2012
Congratulations to Christie Wood who successfully defended her dissertation proposal entitled “Impacts of  a melting sea ice cover on the biogeochemistry of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.”  As such, Christie has now officially advanced to candidacy and has ABD status in the Ph.D. program.  This month Christie is also presenting her research on optical properties of sea ice-associated dissolved organic matter at the International Polar Year Conference in Montreal, Canada.

Boyd Zapatka and Satellite Radar Observations of Soil Moisture, March 2012
Congratulations to Boyd Zapatka who successfully defended his M.A. in GISci thesis entitled “Using ERS-2 and ALOS-PALSAR radar data and ground-based measurements to assess soil moisture characteristics in the Anaktuvuk River Fire burn scar, Alaska”, which is based on fieldwork on the North Slope of Alaska in Summer 2010.  Since July 2011, Boyd has worked as an Analyst in the Data Management Group for the Research and Modeling team at AIR Worldwide, a firm specializing in catastrophe and risk analysis for insurance and reinsurance agencies.  His main duties include the development of map visualizations, spatial and statistical analyses of client claims data, database management and administration, and expansion and maintenance of web-based geo-analytical tools.

The Polaris Project II: Amplifying the Impact, February 2012
Congratulations to Sam Berman (Clark University, Earth System Science ’14) and Dylan Broderick (Clark University, Geography ’12) who were selected to participate in the next Polaris Project undergraduate field experience (and will travel to Cherskiy, East Siberia in June-July 2012).  Dylan was also a 2011 Polaris Project participant and will return in 2012 to work towards her 5th-year MA in GISci research at Clark University.  David Mayer (Ph.D. student in Geography) will also travel to Cherskiy to conduct fieldwork towards his own dissertation research at Clark University.

TOS/ASLO/AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting, February 2012
Members of our research group will present at the 2012 TOS/ASLO/AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah (February 20-24) in the NASA special session “Biology, Biogeochemistry, and Bio-optics of the Pacific Sector of the Arctic Ocean”:
Christie Wood: Optical characteristics of CDOM associated with sea ice in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas
Karen Frey: Light transmission through ocean waters beneath melt-season sea ice in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas

American Geophysical Union Meeting, December 2011
Presenting on a diverse collection of topics, several members of our research group will attend this year’s Fall American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, CA (December 5-9):
Prajjwal Panday: A multi-model analysis of changing climate in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region using CMIP3 projections for temperature and precipitation
Luke Trusel: Antarctic surface and subsurface melting dynamics: Enhanced perspectives from radar scatterometer data
David Mayer: Measuring Seasonal Variations of East Siberian Thermokarst Lake Areas using PALSAR Data

Karen Frey: Trends in Sea Ice Cover, Sea Surface Temperature, and Chlorophyll Biomass across a Marine Distributed Biological Observatory in the Pacific Arctic Region

Arctic Report Card: Update for 2011, December 2011
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its annual Arctic Report Card report on December 1, 2011. Issued annually since 2006, the report is a timely source for clear, reliable and concise environmental information on the current state of the Arctic. Karen Frey’s contribution to the report was the inaugural entry on Arctic Ocean Primary Productivity, which was also highlighted in NOAA’s ClimateWatch Magazine. This year’s report was a collaboration among 121 scientists from 14 countries (press release).

A Pacific-Arctic Carbon Synthesis, November 2011
Karen Frey has been funded by the NSF Arctic Natural Sciences Program along with Jeremy Mathis (University of Alaska, Fairbanks) and others for a project entitled “Pacific-Arctic Carbon Synthesis – Transformations, Fluxes, and Budgets.”  Over the next three years, the aim of this effort is to determine how physical forcing and biological responses control the marine carbon (C) cycle in the Pacific Arctic (including three regions: the Chukchi/western Beaufort Sea, the Bering Sea, and the northern Gulf of Alaska).  In particular, this research will focus on air-sea CO2 exchange, net community production, and ocean acidification in these three contrasting shelf environments, enabling better constraints on the present C stocks and fluxes as well as improved predictions of how climate change will affect the marine C cycle throughout the region.

Toward a Circumarctic Lakes Observation Network (CALON), October 2011
Karen Frey has been funded by the NSF Arctic Observing Network Program along with Ken Hinkel (University of Cincinnati) and others for a project entitled “Toward a Circumarctic Lakes Observation Network (CALON): Multiscale observations of lacustrine systems.”  Over the next four years, the goals of this project are to collect physical, chemical, and biological data from a network of dozens of lakes across northern Alaska.  Four years of intense and remote field sampling will allow our group to make spatial and temporal comparisons to determine the overall impacts of warmer temperatures, changing cloud cover and precipitation patterns, permafrost degradation, and direct human impacts on arctic lakes across the North Slope of Alaska.

Blaize Denfeld’s Research in Arctic Carbon Cycling, August 2011
Congratulations to Blaize Denfeld who successfully defended her M.A. thesis entitled “Carbon Processing in the Siberian Kolyma River Basin and its Role in CO2 Evasion from Streams and Rivers”, which is based on her two Polaris Project field seasons.  Blaize has also been selected for a prestigious Ph.D. fellowship (to begin September 2011) to continue her research in Arctic carbon cycling and limnology in the Department of Ecology and Genetics at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Satellite Observations of East Siberian Rivers, August 2011
Lead authored by Claire Griffin, a study entitled “Spatial and interannual variability of dissolved organic matter in the Kolyma River, East Siberia, observed using satellite imagery” was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences.  This study bridges field measurements and satellite observations of dissolved organic matter in the Kolyma River, East Siberia, providing tools to further understand the future fate of carbon with climate warming and permafrost degradation.  The study was carried out as part of Claire’s undergraduate research in the Polaris Project.  She is now in the Marine Science Ph.D. program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Back in Arctic Sea Ice, June-July 2011
Karen Frey, Christie Wood, and David Mayer traveled back to the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas as part of the second field season of NASA’s ICESCAPE (Impacts of Climate change on the Eco-Systems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment) mission onboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Healy. This year the team was also joined by Holly Kelly (Farragut High School, Knoxville Tennessee). Here one can get a glimpse of what the Healy sees on her many Arctic voyages, every hour on the hour.  The field season was documented by Alaska Public Radio and Kathryn Hansen’s NASA ICESCAPE blog, while our team kept busy with sediment, water, ice, and optics collections.  A brief account of last year’s 2010 field season can be seen here.

Hindu Kush-Himalaya Snowmelt Study Published, May 2011
Lead authored by Prajjwal Panday, a study entitled “Detection of the timing and duration of snowmelt in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya using QuikSCAT, 2000-2008” was recently published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.  This radar scatterometer-based melt detection study provides insight into the seasonal and interannual melt dynamics of snow and ice cover in the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges, which have important consequences for hydrological processes and glacier mass balances across the region.

The Polaris Project II: Amplifying the Impact, May 2011
Congratulations to Dylan Broderick (Clark University, Geography ’12) and Emily Sturdivant (Clark University, Geography ’13) who were selected to participate in the 2011 Polaris Project undergraduate field experience (and will travel to Cherskiy, East Siberia in July 2011).  Along with her collaborators, Karen Frey was recently funded by NSF for four additional years of the Polaris Project (2011-2015) (press release).

Alaska Public Radio, April 2011
Karen Frey (along with Dr. Jacqueline Grebmeier) was interviewed by Alaska Public Radio for her involvement in the development of a Distributed Biological Observatory in the Pacific Arctic Region as well as her participation in Arctic Science Summit Week in Seoul, Korea (March 2011).  The interview can be heard here.

Prajjwal Panday to Conduct Third Pole Environment Fieldwork, April 2011
Prajjwal Panday will travel to Nepal in April-May for several weeks of fieldwork in support of the Third Pole Environment (TPE) research program.  This TPE expedition (a joint Tibet-Nepal effort) will take Prajjwal from the Lantang Valley to the Yala Glacier in the Nepal Himalaya, where meterological station data and glacier mass balance measurements will be collected.

US National Academy of Sciences Report on Polar Ecosystems, April 2011
Karen Frey is a co-author on a recently released National Academy of Sciences report entitled Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems.  The report (available here) was also recently highlighted in the journal Nature (available here).

Association of American Geographers, April 2011
Luke Trusel and Blaize Denfeld will present their research results at the Association of American Geographers annual meeting in Seattle, WA (12–16 April 2011).

Arctic Science Summit Week, March 2011
Karen Frey will participate in Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) in Seoul, Korea (27 March – 1 April 2011).  While there, she will also present at the ASSW Science Symposium.

Polar Marine Science Gordon Research Conference, March 2011
Christie Wood will present research results from the NASA ICESCAPE cruise at the Polar Marine Science Gordon Research Conference in Ventura, CA (20–25 March 2011).

Luke Trusel in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, February 2011
Luke Trusel’s recent field expedition to West Antarctica this past December/January has been highlighted in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

NASA Research in West Antarctica, January 2011
Karen Frey has received funding from the NASA Interdisciplinary Research in Earth Science Program to investigate ocean-ice sheet linkages in the Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica.  Luke Trusel has just returned from West Antarctica in support of the project (press release).

The Professional Geographer, January 2011
Karen Frey has been invited to serve on the Editorial Board of The Professional Geographer for a threeyear term beginning January 2011.

American Geophysical Union Meeting, December 2010
Karen Frey, Blaize Denfeld, and Boyd Zapatka will present at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco (13–17 December 2010).

Woods Hole Research Center, September 2010
While on sabbatical from Clark University in Fall 2010, Karen Frey will serve as Visiting Scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Welcome David Mayer, August 2010
Welcome to David Mayer, a new Ph.D. student who joins the Polar Science Research Laboratory at Clark University after earning an M.A. in Earth and Planetary Science at Washington University, St. Louis.

Arctic in Rapid Transition (ART) Initiative, August 2010
Karen Frey has received collaborative funding from NSF to establish an Arctic in Rapid Transition (ART) Science and Implementation Plan through several workshops (held in Fairbanks and Winnipeg).  ART is an integrative, international, interdisciplinary, long-term pan- Arctic program to study changes and feedbacks among the physical and biogeochemical components of the Arctic Ocean and their ultimate impacts on biological productivity.

Claire Griffin Begins Ph.D. Program, August 2010
Congratulations to Claire Griffin (former Polar Science Research Lab member at Clark), who begins a Ph.D. program at the Marine Science Institute at the University of Texas in Fall 2010.  Claire will be working with Dr. Jim McClelland, continuing her work on remote sensing of dissolved organic matter in rivers and estuaries across the pan-Arctic.

The Polaris Project, July 2010
Congratulations to Clark undergraduates Blaize Denfeld and Cassandra Volatile-Wood, who were selected to be a part of the third field season of the Polaris Project, traveling to East Siberia in July 2010 (press release).

NASA Graduate Student Summer Program in Earth System Science, June 2010
Congratulations to Prajjwal Panday, who was selected through the NASA Graduate Student Summer Program (GSSP) in Earth System Science to further his dissertation research on Himalayan snowmelt hydrology at NASA Goddard’s Earth Sciences Division during Summer 2010.

Field Research on the Anuktuvuk River Fire, June 2010
Boyd Zapatka will be conducting research related to the Anuktuvuk River Fire on the North Slope of Alaska in conjunction with the US Geological Survey during Summer 2010.

NASA Research on Arctic Sea Ice, June 2010
Karen Frey has received funding as part of NASA’s ICESCAPE project to investigate the physical and biogeochemical properties of sea ice in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.  Two field seasons (June/July of 2010 and 2011) will be conducted on the USCGC Healy icebreaker in the shelf seas north of Alaska.  Frey, Christie Wood, and Luke Trusel were onboard the Healy for the first ICESCAPE mission in June 2010 (press release).

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Awarded to Prajjwal Panday, May 2010
Congratulations to Prajjwal Panday, who received a prestigious 3-year NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship to support his Ph.D. dissertation research at Clark University.  His proposal was entitled: “Cryospheric and Hydrological Processes in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region: Implications of Climate Change for Snowmelt Hydrology, Seasonal Snow Cover, and Glaciated Regions.”