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ICESat-2 is a satellite mission under development by NASA for launch in 2015.  It will make measurements of ice sheet elevations in Antarctica over a 3-5 year period, to accurately the shape of the ice sheet, and to show how the ice sheet is changing over time.  As the satellite is developed, the science definition team, made up of researchers from NASA and from several different universities, provides direction as to what scientific questions the satellite measurements must address.  APL researcher Ben Smith has joined the team to investigate how best to tailor the measurements to the characteristics of ice…

Ask a Scientist a question about the Polar Regions during PSW. We will try our best to answer.

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PI: Harry Stern
This is a subcontract with Greenland Institute of Natural Resources

Test with Email shortcodeAxel Schweiger  (axel©apl•washington•edu)  axel©apl•washington•edu

Norbert Untersteiner, founder and former director of the Polar Science Center, passed away on March 14, 2012 at the age of 86. Norbert was the director of the Polar Science Center from 1981-1988 when he became chairman of Atmospheric Sciences at UW. A Memorial Celebration of Norbert’s life will be held on the UW campus at the University Club (the former Faculty Club) on Friday, April 13 from 6-8pm. All are welcome.  For further information, contact Mike Wallace at (206) 543-7390 or the Polar Science Center at (206) 543-6613.  In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations may be made to the Kaplan Research Fund, c/o Swedish Medical Center Foundation, 747 Broadway, Seattle, WA  98122.

Bonnie Light worked with collaborators at the Norwegian Polar Institute to measure light transmittance through first-year sea ice at Tempelfjord in Svalbard, Norway. Two graduate students from Atmospheric Sciences also participated in this effort under Dr. Light’s supervision in April 2011.

The APL family lost a dear friend and a key figure in our success in polar oceanography when Andy Heiberg passed away at home with his family on February 17, 2021 after short struggle with pancreatic cancer.

Andy was an internationally known expert in  operations and logistics for scientific fieldwork on sea ice. His career at the APL Polar Science Center began before PSC was part of APL and even before PSC was created…..

PI: Harry Stern
This is a subcontract with Greenland Institute of Natural Resources

Southeast Greenland polar bear tagging by Kristin Laidre, late July-early August 2011.

Alan Thorndike died on Jan 8, 2018 from an aggressive pneumonia. He was 72 years old. For those of you who don’t know, Alan was one of the original AIDJEX gang and founding PIs of PSC. Working with Drew Rothrock, he developed the concept of the thickness distribution that is at the heart of most sea ice models.