Midgard Glacier in East Greenland has retreated ~10 kilometers up its fjord since 2000.
Scene center is 66.44°N, 36.74°W.
I made this video using Google Earth Engine.

Dr. Kristin Poinar studies earth’s ice sheets, especially the Greenland Ice Sheet, as well as Antarctica and past ice sheets (e.g., the Laurentide).  I ask questions about ice dynamics and the interactions between ice flow and liquid water.  How, when, and where does surface melt water get to the ice-sheet bed, and how does this affect ice dynamics?  My primary tool is process-scale ice-sheet models, and I incorporates remote sensing data into developing these models.

Ilulissat Icefjord
Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland, where icebergs from Jakobshavn Glacier float by on their journey to the ocean.

Student research

There are opportunities for undergraduate (including gap year “research month” experiences), Master’s, and PhD work in my lab, for students with quantitative backgrounds or interests.  If a certain research topic interests you, send me an email or drop in to my office to tell me why you’d be a good fit!

Research topics

Formation of moulins
Crevasse fields
Formation and life cycle of crevasses on mountain glaciers
Firn aquifers
Seasonal movement of subsurface meltwater
Glacier surges
Ice sheet canyons
Englacial fracture network
Stability of glacier flow on the Greenland Ice Sheet
Detection of subglacial tills
And more… Drop me a note and we’ll explore a research fit!



The Gilkey Glacier trench, Juneau Icefield, Alaska. Learn more at