Nearly 30 graduate students from more than 25 universities and a dozen countries as far away as Nepal, India, Peru and New Zealand gathered in the small Alaskan village of McCarthy June 5 – 15 to participate in UAF’s fifth International Summer School in Glaciology.
Steep ice-covered mountains provided the perfect setting to equip early stage PhD students with tools to address expanding challenges in quantifying and modeling rapid changes in glaciers and ice sheets occurring in response to a warming climate, and to foster collaboration among students as well as established scientists in the field of glaciology. All five instructors from the Geophysical Institute's glaciology group at UAF as well as instructors from three other U.S. universities and institutions offered plenty of opportunity for interaction between the instructors and students during and outside the formal 11-day instruction period.
Students took part in glaciology lectures, exercises and computer projects, and presented their own research in an outdoor session with posters pinned to the walls of the Wrangell Mountain Center or to laundry lines. Excursions to nearby glaciers provided hands-on experience in a glacial environment, a memorable experience especially for the almost 10 students who, though studying glaciers, in fact had never been on a glacier. A number of evening activities rounded off the program, including a public lecture that attracted more than 50 local residents and tourists.
Overall, the course received extremely positive evaluations. Participants left not only with a stronger background in glaciology, but also with a network of professional contacts from around the world. The course was sponsored mainly by NASA and several cryospheric professional organizations.
More information about the International Summer School in Glaciology is available online.
Photo below: Matt Hoffman from the Las Alamos National Laboratory helps International Summer School in Glaciology students (left to right) Smarika Kulshreshtha from India, David Rounce from UAF and Miriam Sroková from Canada. Photo by Regine Hock