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KU to host international symposium on ice sheet sensing technology

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

LAWRENCE – As the world’s glaciers and polar ice sheets continue to vanish, advanced technology for the study of this global change – and the resulting rise in sea level – is more important and more sophisticated than ever before. The multi-partner Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), headquartered at the University of Kansas, is a recognized world leader in this critical field of study.

For that reason, the International Glaciological Society has chosen Lawrence as the site for its International Symposium on Radioglaciology, to take place Sept. 9-13 at KU. Nearly 100 researchers from more than 30 universities and research institutes around the world will gather to discuss the latest technological innovations in radar and signal processing techniques for investigating glaciers and polar ice sheets. The symposium is sponsored at KU by CReSIS, the School of Engineering, the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, the KU Center for Research Inc., NASA and the National Science Foundation.

“This area of scientific research is becoming more urgent each year,” said Prasad Gogineni, director of CReSIS and the Deane E. Ackers Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “The symposium is a rare opportunity to share technical findings and the latest knowledge with colleagues from many countries. It’s also a chance for researchers to explore potential collaborations in person, and it’s a terrific showcase for CReSIS and KU.”

Among the countries represented at the symposium are Denmark, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Norway, China, Japan and Chile.

Richard Alley, a renowned geologist and the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Penn State, is the keynote speaker for the symposium. He is a member of the National Academies of Science and author of a prize-winning book, “The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future.” His research has “provided key data and interpretations helping demonstrate that regional to global climate changes larger than any experienced by agricultural or industrial humans have occurred repeatedly, in decades to as little as a single year, and helped reveal mechanisms and the possibility of recurrence.”

Other featured speakers include:

  • Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, professor, Centre for Ice and Climate, The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark;
  • Jay Zwally, project scientist, Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) Mission, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center;
  • Richard Hindmarsh, glaciologist, Science Programmes, British Antarctic Survey; and
  • David Crandall, assistant professor, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University.

Participants will make oral presentations throughout each day of the symposium. More than 30 research posters will also be on display. Topic areas for the talks and posters include:

  • Radars and signal processing techniques for sounding and imaging of polar ice sheets
  • Recent radar observations and results over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets
  • Using radar observations to improve ice sheet models
  • Quantifying ice physical properties and basal conditions with radar techniques
  • Validating radar measurements with seismic observations and modeling techniques
  • Quantifying the geometry of temperate and debris-covered glaciers.

Attendees will also have an opportunity to attend a professional development forum, in conjunction with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, on the opening night of the symposium. This forum will provide young scientists who have an interest in glaciology, remote sensing and remote sensing platforms an opportunity to discuss career information and employment strategies, and explore potential research collaborations.

The International Symposium on Radioglaciology will take place in the Kansas Memorial Union. During their stay in Lawrence, participants will also enjoy local excursions and a closing night banquet at the Adams Alumni Center.

Complete symposium information is available online.