Greenland

Tim Bartholomaus / University of Idaho

An Idaho scientist is part of a team looking at Greenland’s ice sheet. It’s the Earth’s second-largest ice sheet and it’s melting, contributing to a rise in sea levels around the globe. The team’s goal was to figure out which glaciers to watch to predict how the sea level will respond in the future.

When University of Idaho geography professor Tim Bartholomaus started studying glaciers in Greenland for NASA, he thought they would be boring.

“That they’d all be the same, they just sit there, maybe they move a little bit, they melt, how interesting could this be?” he asked.

Gabriel Trisca and Mark Robertson

A roving robot recently returned from a trip to Greenland.  In the cold (-22 Fahrenheit) and windy (30 mph gusts) environment, the tough little rover was put through its paces. 

Two Boise State graduate students, Gabriel Trisca, computer science, and Mark Robertson, geophysics, spent a month with the rover on the frozen landscape.  The robot, which is as tall as a person, uses a radar system, developed by Boise State geosciences assistant professor Hans-Peter Marshall.

University of Idaho

University of Idaho geography professor Von Walden was among a group of scientists who were witness to a historic ice melt in Greenland last July.

What Von Walden and his fellow scientists saw in Greenland last summer—a weather event that resulted in 97 percent of Greenland’s Ice Sheet rising to temperatures above the freezing point—doesn’t happen every day.  “It’s really a remarkable event. The last time that the surface snow melted at this location was 1889.”