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APECS Mentor Panel at the VICC, Valdivia, Chile
02.02.2010 - 02.02.2010 
Centro de Estudios Cientificos (CECS) - Valdivia, Chile



APECS mentor panel: Careers in glaciology: research and opportunities at VICC, Valdivia, Chile

Tuesday 2 February 1315-1445 (during the conference lunch break - lunch provided; location Centro de Estudios Científicos (CECS), Valdivia)

As part of the International Glaciological Conference "Ice and Climate Change: A View from the South", a lunchtime workshop is being held for students and early career glacial researchers to provide an informal venue for networking and discussion. The workshop will take the form of a panel discussion, drawing on the experience of scientists at various stages in their careers to talk openly about the challenges and rewards of career paths in glacial research. The focus will be on the transition from student to PI and how to make the most of opportunities that come your way. This is a great opportunity to make contacts with other students as well as established glaciologists, and to share and form new ideas about how to continue our careers in glaciology.

The panellists include: Konrad Steffen (University of Colorado at Boulder), Eric Rignot (University of California at Irvine), Michael Zemp (University of Zurich), Andrés Rivera (Centro de Estudios Científicos) and Shelley MacDonell (Centro de Estudios Avanzado en Zonas Aridas).

Registration for the workshop is part of the registration process for the conference (see All welcome from students to established scientists. For more information about the workshop, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . In association with APECS.


Konrad Steffen

University of Colorado at Boulder

My general interest is the study of processes related to climate and cryosphere interaction in polar and alpine regions based on in-situ and satellite measurements, and using climate system modeling to study their sensitivity. I had an active involvement in the assessment of global sea level change and sensitivity studies of large ice sheets using in situ and modeling results. For the past eight years I was involved in organizing a NASA/NSF initiative called PARCA: Program in Regional Arctic Climate Assessment.

Currently, my research funding is supported by NASA Cryospheric Sciences, NASA/GSFC, and NSF/Arctic System Science for climate system modeling, remote sensing application related to ocean-climate-sea ice interactions, and LIDAR applications in the Arctic. Currently I serve as Chairman for the World Climate Research Program ACSYS Observation Products Panel, Science Steering Committee of the WMO Climate and Cryosphere project, Vice president of the International Commission for Snow and Ice (IAHS), SEARCH science steering committee member, Modeling and Observation Theme Leader at CIRES.

I currently hold the position of the Director of CIRES, which is the larges research unit at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I am a Fellow of CIRES since 1991. My research group is part of the Center for the Study of Earth from Space (CSES), one of the 5 research centers in CIRES. I am a Professor with the Department of Geography where I teach climatology and remote sensing courses.

Eric Rignot

University of California at Irvine

I am interested in understanding the interactions of ice and climate, and in particular in determining how the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland will respond to climate warming in the coming century.

My research work combines satellite remote sensing techniques, airborne surveys, field work and numerical modeling and spans from the vast, dry interior regions of Antarctica to the wet, narrow, dynamic glaciers of Patagonia.

Glaciology mixes many different scientific and engineeering disciplines and is at the corner stone of Earth System Science. Ice interacts with the atmosphere, but also with the surrounding ocean and has its own internal dynamics. Most of what governs the flow of ice eludes observation because it takes place at the glacier beds, far below the surface. With the advent of satellites, we can look at ice sheets at an unprecedented level of spatial details over vast areas. This is an exciting time of exploration, discovery and scientific advances, with plenty of opportunities to go out in the field and gather information impossible to get some space.

Michael Zemp

University of Zurich

My main research interests are in earth observation technologies and geoinformatics and their application to the investigation of glacier climate interactions. I'm working as research associate for the World Glacier Monitoring Service and I'm involved with various scientific projects of the Department of Geography of the University of Zurich.

Andrés Rivera

Centro de Estudios Científicos

Andrés Rivera was born in Santiago, Chile and received a degree in Geography from Universidad de Chile. He has worked in glaciology since 1988, when he did the first glacier inventory between 36-41° S latitude in Chile. Since then he has studied the main frontal, aerial and volumetric variations of Chilean glaciers particularly in Patagonia, the Lakes District and central Chile. In 1997 he completed a Masters degree in Geography at Universidad de Chile, conducting a number of research activities in the Norte Grande region of Chile where he focused mainly on topoclimatology of the Puna de Atacama a high and dry diagonal in the Chilean Andes in collaboration with scientists from the University of Berna, Switzerland. In 2004, Andrés received a PhD in Glaciology from the University of Bristol, England, where he worked with Jonathan Bamber and the Bristol Glaciology Center. His thesis theme was on mass balance research in the South Icefield. Since 1994, Andrés has been actively involved in various glaciology research projects in Occidental Antarctica. His studies in the Patriot Hills zone, and more recently in the Antarctic Peninsula and the glaciers in the Amundsen Sea stand out. Another zone that Andrés has shown permanent interest in is the Northern and Southern Patagonian Icefield, where he has conducted a number of fieldwork activities, and lately, surveys with airborne sensors. Andrés is particularly interested in techniques and methods such as using remote de satellite sensors, laser altimetry, fotogrametry, GPS receptors, ice thickness measurements with radial echo sensor systems and measurements of glacier energy balance. He has collaborated in many international research projects with Japanese, British, Swiss, German and North American researchers. Andrés is member of the International Glaciology Society, is editor of the Aragon Glaciology Bulletin, collaborates in many international magazines and is Assistant Professor at Universidad de Chile since 1991.

Shelley MacDonell

Centro de Estudios Avanzado en Zonas Aridas

Shelley completed her PhD in Geography at the University of Otago, New Zealand in 2009, and is now a postdoctoral researcher in glaciology at the Centro de Estudios Avanzado en Zonas Aridas in La Serena, Chile. Her PhD focused on glacier hydrology on cold-based glaciers in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, but she has also been involved in understanding cold-based glacier behaviour and geomorphology in the wider Ross Sea region. In her current research she is still interested in cold ice, but she is now working in the Andes in northern Chile. She is focused on understanding ablation processes on glaciers in this region, and her work forms part of a larger project concerned with the mass balance and hydrology of cold, arid glaciers in the Norte Chico region of Chile.


Centro de Estudios Cientificos (CECS)
Valdivia, Chile