Participation in International Summer School in Glaciology
Université de Lausanne - UNIL
Description of the programme
The International Summer School in Glaciology is organized bi-annually by the University of Alaska (UAF). It is open to graduate students around the world and held at the Wrangell Mountains Center in McCarthy, Alaska. The course provides a comprehensive overview of the physics of glaciers and current research frontiers in glaciology, including remote sensing in glaciology, glacier mass balance and glacier meteorology, response of glaciers to climate change, glacier dynamics, surging and tidewater glaciers, ice-sheet modeling and inverse modeling, glacier hydrology, and glacier geology. In 2022, the course was held 7-17 June. During the duration of the course, lectures covering the above-described topics are given each morning. In the afternoon, material is consolidated in computational exercises. In addition, each student works on a group project (in groups of two students) together with one of the instructors and presents the results during a mini-conference at the end of the course. Also, all students present their own research on posters during a half-day poster session. An evening lecture in Kennecott to the broader public is held as well. One full-day field excursion to the Root Glacier and one half-day field excursion to the glacier snout are organized. Except for these excursions, the course is entirely theoretical and focuses on quantitative aspects on glaciology. Overall, the course provides an excellent broad overview of different topics in glaciology. The remote location of McCarthy helps to completely focus on the training programme and provides perfect conditions for intensive networking and scientific discussions among the students and instructors, surrounded by the beautiful Alaskan glaciers.
How did you benefit from the programme?
The International Summer School in Glaciology provided me with a comprehensive overview of the physics of glaciers and current research frontiers in glaciology. Being a Geophysicist by training, I was well equipped with knowledge on physics, maths, numerics, and programming, while my glaciological background always stood behind. As my research project aims at better understanding glacier hydrology, it was important for me to get a better idea of the overarching glaciological context – and this is exactly what the summer school provided me with. I believe that my new glaciological knowledge will enable me to significantly advance my PhD project in many ways, e.g. with regards to survey planning, data analysis, and interpretation. In addition, the summer school provided a unique platform for scientific exchange and growing my scientific network. I met PhD students and researchers from a wide variety of research groups, broadened my horizon in discussions about their research topics, and even initiated new collaborations.
What were the highlights of the training?
It is hard to outline highlights of a programme that has been a highlight itself as a whole. Nevertheless, one highlight was certainly the one-day excursion to the Root Glacier. Even though I have been hiking and working on glaciers in the Alps before, the Alaskan glaciers are something special. Experiencing this together with the other summer school participants and the instructors, and seeing aspects of the theory that we learned during the lectures in reality on the glacier was one of the best parts of the summer school. Another highlight was the mini-conference at the end of the course, where we presented the results of the small group projects that we accomplished during the summer school. It was amazing to see what everyone achieved during such a short period of time!
And the final highlight were the people: the participants, the instructors, the staff at the Wrangell Mountains Center (where the training took place) – everyone was great. I did not only make connections for future scientific collaborations, but I also made a lot of new friends during the summer school.
Would you recommend the programme to other students?
I would definitely recommend the International Summer School in Glaciology to every Glaciology/Geophysics PhD student who feels the need to improve their glaciological knowledge, because that is what this summer school is designed for. Just be aware that the programme is extremely intense, and that during the summer school you will be camping in rather primitive conditions (no shower etc.).
|Funded amount||1,500 CHF|
|Project dates||1st June 2022 – 30th June 2022|
|Category||Field and Summer Schools|