Student researchers carry equipment across the surface of the Taku Glacier, in Alaska.
Student researchers carry equipment across the surface of the Taku Glacier, in Alaska.

The Glacier Dynamics group at the University of Idaho consists of team members working and learning together to reveal the factors controlling the rapid response of glaciers and ice sheets to environmental forcings. We use geophysical techniques such as seismology, remote sensing, and modeling to understand glacier dynamics, including iceberg calving, water flow through glaciers, and the ice flow response to variable glacier hydrology.  Our group is part of the Department of Geological Sciences.

Group researchers are identified below.

We’re always interested in new, clever, hard working group members.  Click here to learn about joining our group.

Our lab group’s internal, working manual is hosted here, and includes sections on supporting one another, life and work at UIdaho, our hardware resources, and computing best practices.  Our goal is that the lab manual will be communally updated and serve as a living reference for group members.

Current group members

Dr. Timothy Bartholomaus is the lead scientist and principal investigator for the group. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Idaho. Tim joined the University of Idaho faculty in 2016, after working as a Research Associate at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics. His research employs a variety of geophysical techniques to understand fast glacier flow and rapid glacier change. He has led or participated in over 20 field expeditions to glaciers in Alaska, Greenland, Antarctica, and the continental U.S.

View his Curriculum Vitae here.
Tim Bartholomaus overlooking glaciers in West Greenland
Chris Miele is a Ph.D. Student in the Department of Geological Sciences. He is working on an NSF- and NASA-supported project to better understand the factors controlling iceberg calving around the Greenland Ice Sheet. Targets for his research include the loss of glacier floating tongues, and the mechanical coupling between submarine melt and iceberg calving. Chris joined us in August 2018 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Simon Fraser University and an M.S. from the University Center of the Westfjords.Chris Miele in the Arctic
Dakota Pyles is a Masters Student in the Department of Geological Sciences, having started at the University of Idaho in Fall 2020. He is working with altimetry data from ICESat-2 to better understand tidewater glacier change and iceberg calving in Greenland. Dakota received a bachelor's degree in geoscience in May 2019 from the University of Montana and has prior work experience in the Earth sciences as a geological field mapper, as well as outside of the Earth sciences.

Group alumni

Emma Swaninger graduated from our lab group with a M.S. in Geological Sciences in August 2020. She used data from a terrestrial radar interferometer to study the impact (and lack there-of) of ice melange on glacier dynamics at Rink Isbrae, a glacier in West Greenland. She found that buoyancy driven calving unfolds in a tearing fashion over days, that temporary summer melange can stabilize loose calving ice, and that laboratory estimates of terminal ice strength are likely inappropriately high. Emma joined the group in August 2018 after graduating from Ohio University and time spent working as a geophysical field assistant. After graduating, Emma worked for the department co-ordinating course labs.
Tristan Amaral graduated with his M.S. in Geological Sciences in May 2019. During his NASA-supported research, he used satellite observations, model output, and other tools to better understand iceberg calving around the entirety of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Tristan's thesis culminated in a paper under review at the Journal of Geophysical Research, titled Evaluation of Iceberg Calving Models Against Observations From Greenland Outlet Glaciers. Tristan has also participated in lab group fieldwork to recover seismic and geodetic instruments deployed in Alaska used to track subglacial water flow. Tristan joined the group in August 2017 after graduating Summa Cum Laude from the Univ. of New Hampshire, and time spent working for the Juneau Icefield Research Program. Following graduation, Tristan went on to an internship at Denali National Park in Alaska, through the Geoscientists in Parks program, then worked for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.Tristan Amaral
Danny Bugingo and Rian Brumfield worked in the lab during the summer and fall of 2018 as undergraduate research assistants on a NASA project to examine iceberg calving around Greenland. The two UI math majors worked with Tristan Amaral to download, access, and analyze remotely sensed data. Along the way, they picked up essential skills in writing python code and working with GIS. Here, Rian (left) and Danny (right) are pictured in the lab with Tristan.
Margot Vore graduated with her M.S. in Geography in May 2018. During her research, she applied seismology and other quantitative methods to understand how the hydrologic system beneath glaciers varies over time. Shortly after arriving at UI, she visited Taku Glacier, in Southeast Alaska, where she helped recover the seismic data that will serve as the foundation for her thesis. Her thesis was published in January 2019 as Seismic Tremor Reveals Spatial Organization and Temporal Changes of Subglacial Water System. Margot joined us in August 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. Following graduation, Margot applied her quantitative skills as a research assistant at the University of Northern British Columbia.Margot Vore in the mountains