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February 25, 2013

The Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) Investigates Melting Polar Ice


From the ground, air and space, CReSIS researchers study disappearing ice and the potential for sea level rise

The Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) is a Science and Technology Center (STC) established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2005 with the mission of developing new technologies and computer models to measure and predict the response of sea level change to the mass balance of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. NSF's STC program combines the efforts of scientists and engineers to respond to problems of global significance, supporting the intense, sustained, collaborative work required to achieve progress. CReSIS provides students and faculty with opportunities to pursue exciting research in a variety of disciplines; to collaborate with world-class scientists and engineers in the U.S. and abroad; and to make meaningful contributions to the ongoing, urgent work of addressing the impact of climate change.

The University of Kansas serves as the lead institution for CReSIS, which comprises six additional partner institutions: Elizabeth City State University, Indiana University, University of Washington, the Pennsylvania State University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Association of Computer and Information Science Engineering Departments at Minority Institutions. In addition to this core group, CReSIS collaborates with several international institutions and industry partners.

Quotes About CReSIS

"The faculty, students and staff have developed sensors, Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles and advanced concepts to obtain much needed data on the ice-bed interface at the ice-sheet margins and fast-flowing glaciers. The technical and scientific skills represented here are among the best in the world."

~ Prasad Gogineni, CReSIS Director and Deane E. Ackers Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Kansas


"There is a story behind why we need this data and how it is being used--there are specific problems we are trying to collectively solve."

~ John Paden, CReSIS Associate Research Professor


"It is apparent there is an issue with climate change, especially in fast changing areas like polar regions. These changes need to be modeled with accuracy in order for us to understand and fully address them. The models required to represent the ice sheets need to be able to resolve individual features in a five kilometer scale or less to achieve a sufficient level of accuracy. To get that degree of coverage you need our high quality data--the models can only be as accurate as the data we provide. The data can only be as precise as the radar and instruments permit."

~ Fernando Rodriguez-Morales, CReSIS Assistant Research Professor


"Not many undergraduate or even graduate students get to have this experience--CReSIS is one of the only research institutions in general that sends students into the field. This real-world experience is invaluable. You work side-by-side with professional engineers and scientists who are leading climate change research and get to establish all kinds of connections."

~ Anthony Hoch, CReSIS Graduate Research Assistant


"A critical Polar Programs' goal is helping to prepare the next generation of polar researchers and, at the same time, helping to insure that the next generation is as representative of the diversity of the U.S. public as possible. CReSIS' educational outreach is aimed squarely at achieving those goals."

~ Julie Palais, a glaciologist and program manager in Polar Programs, noting that CReSIS not only exemplifies NSF's emphasis on support for cutting-edge science and technology across the disciplines, but also is a leader in meeting the foundation's aim of better integrating research and education

Miles O'Brien, Science Nation Correspondent
Marsha Walton, Science Nation Producer


Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.