Student Presentation Development

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KML file of student institutions and field sites:


Roundtable 1: Study regions


  • We need better communication between modellers & data-collectors, with feedback.


  • Basal processes are the hot ticket.

Mountain glaciers

  • We Heart Valley Glaciers
  • Simple models are all you need....... for a valley glacier


  • Is it just sea level change that's of interest to glaciologists?
  • Are rapid changes large changes?
  • Surprise: surges

Possible discussion questions:

  • What questions are the climate change community pressuring us to answer?
  • What do we know now that would have been a big surprise 10 years ago?
  • How important is field data to your research? If you could collect any field data/observations to progress your work, what would it/they be?
  • What is the holy grail of our subfield?
  • What areas should we avoid trying to answer at this time due to complexity?


Roundtable 2: Background


  • There exist opportunities to work in the private sector
  • Taking classes, reading papers outside the discipline (e.g. math(s), physics)
  • Flexibility!


  • Interesting research is at the boundary of disciplines, but the hiring is at the core... one's career is a balance game (NICE)
  • Building personal relationships
  • Predisposed to become pigeonholed as Endnote teachers / website writers


  • Best background to have for glaciology, we have no regrets.
  • Glaciology is presently a tiny field compared to its importance / focus on by IPCC
  • Planetary ice is a new frontier that might blow up
  • Building personal relationships with which to muddle through funding
  • Career moves: at each transition, choose a new problem, institution, and even country.


  • Math is great, but often weak in converting glacial processes into equations.
  • We may have a disconnect between equations & physical space
  • Dealing with the naysayers: fearmongering vs. reassurance

Possible discussion questions:

  • Given your background in XX, what have you done/would you do outside of your area of expertise to make yourself a better cryosphere scientist?
  • Why have we come to glaciology, over the other careers / topics available to people with our background?
  • Glaciology is 'hot' now... how hot will it stay? What are possible exit ramps once it cools down?
  • Will data gaps between the current and next generation of satellite sensors affect what work can be done?
  • What should we do immediately post-PhD? travel, stay at home institution, ship off to postdoc abroad, ...
  • How can I continue to deal with people who say, "Oh, you study glaciers, huh? Better hurry up, hohnk hohnk"
  • Are there areas of cryosphere study that are better studied with strong math tools?


Feedback on the exercise

  • Interaction led to more learning than 1-by-1 speaking to the classroom
  • Making connections is important to doing work
  • "Yes" - Jesse
  • "Great" - Christina
  • "You're a jerk(?)" - Olga
  • Future workshop: turn into one afternoon session, more time to delve into issues
  • Icebreakers (Jesse's blocks/dinosaurs) in groups organized by background might be interesting and telling
  • Group randomization / integration: learn outside your discipline. Add a third "grab bag" session for this.
  • One-on-one interaction
  • This exercise could have used more detailed instructions, facilitation within discussion groups

Other Ways to Sort Ourselves

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