Funding and Partners

While only four of use will actually set foot on the ice sheet this year, any project of this magnitude has scores of people and institutions supporting it. Many of the amazing people who made this possible will get highlighted in posts during our blog, but a standing page is in order for our funders and partner organizations, without whom this work would not have even begun.

This project is made possible by a collaborative award from the National Science foundation titled “Collaborative research: Spatial and temporal variability of surface albedo and light absorbing chemical species in Greenland”

Four institutions are listed on the award, and for anyone keeping track the awards are from the Arctic Sciences Division, award numbers – 1204145 (CRREL), 1203876 (UNH), 1203889 (GaTech),  1204059 (U Wisc).

Thank you to the foundation and our program managers Erica Key, Henrietta Edmonds, and Renee Crain.

Dr. Zoe Courville and Dr. Chris Polashenski lead the project from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. In addition to conducting the field program, they are responsible for maintaining the autonomous stations we’ll be deploying, conducting analysis of the snow grain size samples,  collecting albedo measurements, and keeping everyone working together closely. Expertise and support from CRREL has been critical in building the sleds and traverse equipment, preparing the autonomous stations and getting all of the gear ordered, prepared, and shipped out on time. Particularly Bruce Elder and Kerry Claffey are due thanks for an epic to fix an communications issue in our autonomous stations last week. 

Dr. Zoe Courville and Dr. Chris Polashenski both also hold adjunct appointments at Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering, and are involving undergraduate and (next year) graduate students in this research through Thayer. 


Dr. Jack Dibb at the University of New Hampshire is responsible for analyzing the hundreds of snow samples we will take to determine how much ‘soot’ and dust are in the snow. His lab will also conduct analysis of several tracer ions in the snow samples that will help us determine the source of any contaminants in the snow. Dr. Dibb will also provide several key pieces of equipment such as a portable spectroradiometer.

 Dr. Michael Bergin at Georgia Tech will run measurements on snow samples to differentiate between black carbon, brown carbon, and dust impurity types in the snow, collaborating closely with Dr. Dibb, Dr. Schaur, and Dr. Shafer. Dr. Bergin will also conduct radiative transfer modeling to assess the impact of impurities and grain size changes on sunlight absorption, supervising a graduate student along the way. 

Dr. Jamie Schauer and Dr. Martin Shafer will measure the trace
elements present in the snow samples using their expertise in Inductively Coupled Plasma – High Resolution Mass Spectrometry methods, and will measure visible and UV light extinction in snow melt water samples.


Dr. Florent Domine of the Takuvik Joint International Laboratory  has provided the team with the DUFFISS and training in how to operate it. DUFFISS is an instrument designed to measure snow grain size quickly in the field. 

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