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Photo: NASA Earth Observatory

GLACIAL RACE

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all it scientific serendipity: When the world’s fastest-moving glacier sped up in the summer of 2012—suddenly surging away from Greenland’s west coast at four times its 1990s rate— UNH doctoral student Ryan Cassotto was there to capture it, with a new instrument that measures glacier speed with much greater precision than satellites. Now, Cassotto is analyzing that treasuretrove of data to understand a simple yet important question: Why did the tidewater glacier Jakobshavn Isbrae speed up? It’s a question NASA, which awarded him the prestigious Earth System Science Fellowship, also wants to answer. “We want to understand how the ice and the ocean interact. It’s all about getting a better view of what the glaciers are doing,” says Cassotto, who studies with both assistant professor of geology and NSF CAREER grant awardee Margaret Boettcher and EOS affiliate research professor Mark Fahnestock. “Ultimately, sea level rise is one of the implications.” unh.edu/esci

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UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

SPARK  

University of New Hampshire 2015 Research Review

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