Courtney Shafer: Research

Hi! My name is Courtney Shafer, I’m a first-year PhD student at the University at Buffalo working with Dr. Kristin Poinar on building a model that will predict the formation and evolution of moulins on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Moulins are large vertical tunnels that transport meltwater from the surface down to the bed of an ice sheet, and the water that reaches the bed can then lubricate the ice and has a direct impact on the overall dynamics of ice sheet flow. Current ice sheet models lack the physics needed to describe these intricate processes, which is necessary for ensuring accurate predictions of ice sheet flow and, ultimately, sea-level rise. This is an important puzzle to solve, especially as surface melt rates continue to grow in tandem with a warming climate.