Cathleen Geiger has been named sea ice science editor of the international Journal of Glaciology.

Editorial appointment

UD's Cathleen Geiger appointed science editor of international glaciology journal


2:18 p.m., April 14, 2015--Cathleen Geiger, University of Delaware research associate professor of sea ice geophysics in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment’s Department of Geography, has been named the sea ice science editor for the Journal of Glaciology

Published by the International Glaciological Society (IGS), the journal promotes the study of all frozen forms of water and encourages research on the properties and processes of snow and ice. Geiger was selected for her experience, publications and reputation in international team-oriented sea ice research. 

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Geiger joined the UD faculty in 2007 following an appointment at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, the only cold regions federal lab in the United States. She has studied sea ice since the 1980s, when a Cold War push necessitated deeper understanding of the floating terrain between the United States and former Soviet Union. 

She was one of three women to coordinate the first ice camp of the International Polar Year 2007-09 in the Beaufort Sea, 200 miles north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Unlike the Cold War studies, she explained, today’s research focuses on the critical role that sea ice plays in maintaining summer global temperatures and the stability of atmospheric weather patterns year round. 

In a letter announcing her appointment, Jo Jacka, IGS chief editor, expressed confidence that Geiger’s appointment “will encourage the growth of sea ice articles in the Journal of Glaciology.” The journal is available through UD Library Services in coordination with UD’s Green Open Access library archive efforts, which makes journal articles freely accessible without additional cost to the author.

“Clear communication of interdisciplinary scientific findings is essential for effective decision making by national leaders and policy makers,” said Geiger, who holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “It is an honor to communicate understanding about changes relevant to a planet that is losing one of its most precious water resources.”

At UD, Geiger coordinates the UD Sea Ice Group, which currently focuses on multi-scale data analysis and data quality assurance of critical cryospheric variables important to model prediction and assessment of the global sea ice mass balance.

Additionally, she has developed an innovative apprenticeship program to prepare UD students to cope with the issue of global thermal stability. 

In 2013, a UD team led by Geiger collaborated with the Naval Academy’s Oceanography Department to study changes in Arctic sea ice. The polar exercises developed during that collaboration are being further developed through a programmatic focus Geiger calls local-to-polar connections.

That same year, Geiger used green technology to map air-snow, snow-ice and ice-water interfaces in Alaska as an educational exercise through the Multi-scale Education and Research though Active-Learning using an Ice-physics Node (MERLIN) project

Together with Chandra Kambhamettu, professor of computer and information sciences, and his student Mani Thomas, she also co-developed a near-real time motion tracking system through the Sea Ice Experiment: Dynamic Nature of the Arctic (SEDNA) project and she continues to develop new numerical tools and algorithms to explain how sea ice behaves. 

Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Defense. 

Article by Caren Fitzgerald

Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

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