July 2018

Summer Intern Working on Arctic Sea Ice Melt State

Nick Wright, a fourth year Ph.D. Candidate at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, is interning at the laboratory this summer. Nick studies the shortwave energy balance of the Arctic sea ice cover through a combination of optical remote sensing and field observations. He has developed a method to detect melt ponds and leads in high resolution optical imagery of sea ice and he is using these data to create improved melt pond fraction estimates derived from lower resolution sensors such as MODIS and VIIRS
While at NASA, Nick will be working with Melinda Webster to develop a new product that synthesizes a wide range of satellite remote sensing data sets to describe the current state of melt of the Arctic sea ice cover. 
“This product will help to improve our ability to model the Arctic sea ice cover and our understanding of powerful albedo feedbacks that influence the global climate system,” Nick said.

Undergraduate Summer Intern Aims to Improve Sea Ice Forecasts

Akira Sewnath, an undergraduate senior at the University of Florida, is working this summer with Alek Petty on improving sea ice predictions. Currently, Petty uses an open source linear regression model that validates the idea that using June sea ice concentrations in a simple statistical model can reliably predict the September sea ice extent. Akira is working to move to a more sophisticated statistical model to get better accuracy scores for the September ice extent prediction. She is also building a system that can handle month-to-month sea ice extent, ice area, and ice concentration spatial map predictions. The purpose of this system is to produce all kinds of predictions, as well as be easily retrained when new information is available on a month-to-month basis.