GRAD Alumni Research Award 2014 Recipient: Alexandra L. Giese, Earth Sciences (EARS)

The Dartmouth Graduate Alumni Research Award is funded through the generosity of alumni of Dartmouth graduate programs. Every school year, graduate students can apply for funding of up to $1000 to support their thesis research. 

The objective of my graduate work is to elucidate the dynamics of the debris-covered glaciers in the Himalayan region of HMA and to quantify their melt. Glaciers whose melt zones are covered in rock from the surrounding valley walls comprise a significant portion of the ice in HMA; roughly two-thirds of glaciers in the South Central Himalaya have at least 20% debris cover. But these glaciers behave quite differently than clean ones, and their melt is more difficult to detect and model.

One of the most advanced debris-covered glacier models was developed at The Centre d’Etudes de la Neige (CEN, Center for Snow Studies) in Grenoble, France.  The Alumni Research Award has provided funding to support my travel and 6-month stay in Grenoble learning about the model from its creators and working with scientists at CEN to improve the model and apply it to our field site near Mt. Everest, Changri Nup glacier.

I am grateful to the Alumni Research Award for providing me with the opportunity to collaborate with the scientists at CEN and to work directly with one of my external committee members and his colleagues in person.  I strongly believe that working with CEN’s state-of-the art model will greatly enhance the quality and, by extension, the significance and impact of my graduate work on Himalayan glacier melt.