I began a year-long Scientist in Parks position working with Mike Loso at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in May 2021. I work at the park headquarters in Copper Center, but I have spent significant time in Kennicott and Malaspina Glacier as well.
I assist with spring and fall monitoring at Kennicott Glacier and Kahiltna Glacier. During each excursion, we fly to 5-6 sites up and down the glacier to measure accumulation or ablation at glacier stakes, dig snow pits, and tend to weather stations.
The Malaspina Glacier is an enourmus piedmont glacier in the southeastern corner of the park. A collaborative NPS/NSF research project was initiated this summer when a team of NPS, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and University of Arizona spent two weeks surveying the forelands and proglacial lakes. The goal is to quantify the timing and likelihood of catastrophic retreat in the event that Malaspina becomes a tidewater glacier.
Join my public presentation on January 14th about Malaspina research hosted by the WISE Science Lecture Series. A recording will be available on their website after the event.
Listen to an a overview presented in a meeting for park staff here. The recording picks up some transition from the intorduction. My presentation begins at 0:33.
I will spend my first Alaskan winter sifting through IFSAR data to map surficial geology in the Malaspina region of the park. Maybe one day there will be a complete surficial geology map of the park, but we've got to start somewhere!
I am assisting with the design of physical models to be used in visitor displays and outreach. The models will be of the Kennicott and Tyndall glacier valleys with removable ice surfaces from different points in history for comparison between different glacier types and rates of ice retreat.
Recent research has concluded that the retreat of the Grand Plateau Glacier will reroute the Alsek River in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Read my synopsis here: Will Dry Bay lose its river because of glacier retreat?.