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Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets

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Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS)  (University of Kansas Center for Research Inc)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) was established in 2005 with the mission of developing new technologies and computer models to measure and predict the response of sea level change to the mass balance of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. CReSIS provides students and faculty with opportunities to pursue exciting research in a variety of disciplines; to collaborate with world-class scientists and engineers in the US and abroad; and to make meaningful contributions to the ongoing, urgent work of addressing the impact of climate change.

Determining ice sheet mass balance and creating predictive models of ice sheet dynamics is a  complex challenge, both scientifically and technologically. CReSIS works to develop the innovations in three areas - sensors, platforms, and cyberinfrastructure - needed to meet the challenge. The center has already gained notoriety for its pioneering work in the development of a radar array that creates three-dimensional images of the bedrock hidden beneath miles of ice and for building a custom unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs) to gather ice sheet data.

Education & Outreach

CReSIS works to inspire and educate the next generation of scientists and engineers, benefiting society by training scientists and engineers and by transferring knowledge to industry, the public, policy makers, and the scientific community. CReSIS is working to train a new generation of researchers that reflects the diversity of our society. To that end, the Center works closely with two minority-serving institutions, Haskell Indian Nations University (Haskell) in Lawrence, Kansas, and Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

The Center runs education programs from the K-12 all the way up to the graduate level including a series of hands-on experiments that teach the basics of the properties of ice, displacement, pressure and density called “Ice, Ice, Baby!” For science teachers at or below the high school level, CReSIS also offers a professional development workshop each summer that focus on global climate change, its impacts on the cryosphere, and the remote sensing techniques used by the Center. For families, CReSIS suggests a “Book of the Month” for kids and parents to explore together.

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  • plane wave radar system
A 12 to 18 gigahertz Planewave Radar System operated by the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets near Summit Camp, Greenland.
D. Braaten, CReSIS, University of Kansas