Research Opportunities

The UB Glacier Modeling Lab has a place for new MS or PhD students this year, to start Fall 2023. We are seeking motivated students with skills in, or interest and motivation in developing skills in, quantitative glaciology, including numerical modeling, mathematical modeling, and remote sensing. Members of the Glacier Modeling Lab work together to create an academically supportive and anti-racist community. My primary goal as a professor is to help my students succeed through growth in thinking capacity, research aptitude, and personal fulfillment in the UB Glacier Modeling Lab.

Your work on these projects would be funded by Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships.

Two funded graduate student research positions available to start Fall 2023

Evolution of moulins at high elevations in Western Greenland

MS project

A meltwater canyon that delivers water to a moulin in western Greenland.
Photo by Covington research team, 2019.

This NASA-funded project requires a student to apply a MATLAB or Python-based model for the shape and size of a moulin (a waterfall through a vertical hole in the glacier) in Greenland ice. As climate warms, meltwater occurs at higher elevations / farther inland on the ice sheet, and new moulins begin to form at certain sparse locations in the Greenland interior, this has a good chance of changing the seasonal hydrologic patterns at the bed below. This, in turn, would affect the seasonal cycle of ice flow. The research will answer the question How will future moulins in extreme inland locations affect the subglacial water flow in Greenland? The project requires strong analytic skills, the ability to code (or quickly learn to code) in MATLAB or Python, basic GIS skills, and scientific writing/communication skills in English.

Crevasses on outlet glaciers across the Greenland / Antarctic Ice Sheets

MS or PhD project

This NASA-funded research project involves application of an existing numeric model for the depth, shape, and time evolution of crevasses on outlet glaciers. You will start with ICESat-2 data of the surface expression of thousands of crevasses on an outlet glacier in Greenland, and use these observations to put new important constraints on the model, and to infer crevasse depths from their surface expression.  For a PhD project, this will then be scaled up to the entire ice sheet and/or Antarctica.  The project requires strong analytic skills, the ability to code (or quickly learn to code) in MATLAB or Python, data analysis skills, and scientific writing/communication skills in English.

Illustration of how measurements of the near-surface geometry of a crevasse (black dots) can be used to constrain the internal geometry of the crevasse (green and blue walls) using a model.

I’m always looking to add motivated students to my research group. I am particularly interested in working with students from minoritized backgrounds. If you’re interested in researching this topic, drop me a note and we’ll explore a research fit! Please include in your inquiry email your background, scientific interests, and research skill set or any research experience.

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You can apply for a graduate research position at http://arts-sciences.buffalo.edu/geology/apply.html . UB Geology does NOT require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for admission to the graduate program.