We seek to understand connections between various components of the Earth system, their response to climate change, and human impact on the environment. We emphasize basic, curiosity-driven science and prefer to study physical processes in the natural environment through observations and a hierarchical modeling approach. Our research is multi-faceted, lies at the interface of several earth-science disciplines, and often involves kinematic observations and dynamical models. 

Most of our efforts are focused on glacier and ice sheet dynamics. This work typically relies on remote-sensing observations of ice velocities and fundamental mechanics. It is organized as three broad, interconnected research topics: 1) the mechanics of deformable glacier beds, 2) the rheology of ice in shear zones, and 3) the mechanics of calving and rifting. Each of these goals serves to improve projections of future sea level rise and to bolster our broader understanding of ice sheet evolution. 

Occasionally, we take short breaks from glacier mechanics to develop remote sensing tools and applications that can be used to help mitigate natural and anthropogenic environmental hazards. This diversity in research topics sharpens our remote sensing skills, makes a direct and positive societal contribution, and adds value to scientific instruments. Examples of this work include methods for characterizing marine oil spills and monitoring wildfires. 

Click on the links below for further details.

Kinematic remote sensing

Mechanics of deformable glacier beds

Rheology of ice in shear zones

Mechanics of calving and rifting

Hazard response and mitigation