Glacier Dynamics Lab, University of Idaho, Idaho, USA.

To understand water flow through and beneath glaciers, and the effect of this water on glacier dynamics, the successful PhD candidate will work with seismic and other geophysical data to meet the goals of NSF- and NASA-funded projects in Alaska. 

Projected start in autumn 2021.

During the winter, glaciers are covered with a blanket of snow that melts in part or in whole during the summer. As the winter snowpack melts, meltwater must percolate through an initially dry, cold snowpack. This snowpack delays the delivery of meltwater from the glacier surface to the glacier bed and potentially enables a stronger dynamic response to the meltwater once the snowpack saturates. Little is known about glacier hydrology during the winter-spring transition, or anytime outside of mid-summer. Without a more detailed understanding of the full range of glacier hydrology-dynamics coupling, estimates of future sea level rise will continue to suffer large uncertainties.

This project aims to reduce the significant gap in our understanding of glacier hydrology by studying the evolving winter-spring snowpack of Wolverine Glacier, a glacier with a long history of study in the Chugach Range of south-central Alaska. Inspired by coupled hydrologic and dynamic observations, this project will quantify and understand time lags between melt and dynamic effects, assess the relative contributions of runoff and densification to changing snowpack thickness, and produce more complete models of glacier hydrology and dynamics. The student will work with unprecedented data to study the temperature and water pressure evolution within the spring snowpack, glacier motion, and seismic recordings of subglacial water flow. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to participate in field work, including in spring of 2021 and will also participate in science communication, outreach, and teacher training at the University of Idaho McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS). This project is funded by NASA and is part of a larger, multi-investigator, multi-grad student, effort in collaboration with Boise State University and the USGS in Alaska.

How to apply

Please send an email with CV to Tim Bartholomaus (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) expressing your interest. Applicants should have strong quantitative skills, enthusiasm for scientific computing and geophysics, and a commitment to challenging oneself and learning through the process.

While applicants for the PhD. are preferred, strong M.S. applicants will be considered. You can learn more about the University of Idaho graduate program, research, and life in Moscow, Idaho here.

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