Climate and Cryospheric Sciences

This cross-departmental research theme focuses on the study of past and modern climate change from a regional and global perspective, the impacts of climate on glacier extent and mass balance, and ultimately the combined impacts on society through mechanisms including sea-level rise and water supplies.


Research areas currently include past and modern climate change (Feng, Hawley, Kelly, Mankin, Morlighem, Osterberg, Winter), glaciology and glacial geomorphology (Hawley, Kelly, Osterberg, Morlighem), Arctic hydrology (Feng and Osterberg), and subglacial hydrology and ice mechanics (Hawley, Meyer, Morlighem, Renshaw with colleagues in Thayer School of Engineering). Yet another exciting research area includes carbon sequestration (Sharma) with collaborations at the Irving Institute for Energy and Society


Xiahong Feng

  • Climate Change Impact on Hydrological Cycles

Bob Hawley

  • Glaciology, Geophysics, and Remote sensing

Meredith Kelly

  • Glacial and Quaternary Geology, Paleoclimatology

Erich Osterberg

  • Paleoclimatology, Climate Dynamics, Snow and Ice Geochemistry

Carl Renshaw

  • Ice Mechanics

Mathieu Morlighem

  • Ice sheet contribution to sea level rise, Ice flow numerical modeling, Polar climate change

Mukul Sharma

  • Carbon Sequestration


Justin Mankin (GEOG)

  • Climate Modeling

Colin Meyer (ENGS)

  • Mechanics and Ice Modeling

Jonathan Winter (GEOG)

  • Climate Prediction and Impacts


The Department has excellent facilities and instrumentation in this area. Please see detailed information in the links below or in the Labs and Facilities tab.

Glaciology Lab
A facility led by Dr. Hawley to study the physical properties of snow and ice.
Ice Core Lab
A facility led by Dr. Osterberg for ice core processing, sampling, and analysis.
Radiogenic Isotope Lab
A facility led by Dr. Sharma for radiogenic isotopes.
Stable Isotope Lab
A facility led by Dr. Feng for stable isotope geochemistry.
Quaternary Geology Lab
A facility led by Dr. Kelly for cosmogenic nuclide dating and sediment core analysis.