CU-Boulder Names Professor Mark Serreze National Snow and Ice Data Center Director

Published: May 19, 2009

University of Colorado at Boulder Professor Mark Serreze has been named director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, a campus center for data, research and information focusing on Earth's frozen regions.

The appointment of Serreze, a senior research scientist at NSIDC since 2005 and a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, was approved by the University of Colorado Board of Regents May 19. He succeeds CU-Boulder geography Distinguished Professor Roger Barry, who retired as NSIDC director in 2008 after 31 years of service.

Also appointed as a professor in the CU-Boulder geography department, Serreze is an expert on Arctic variability and change, including its causes and global implications. He is well known internationally for leading research efforts regarding the continuing decline of sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean during the past several decades.

He has authored over 90 scientific publications, including an award-winning textbook, "The Arctic Climate System," which he co-wrote with Barry. He also has served on numerous advisory boards and science steering committees. In 2005, he testified before the U.S. Congress on changes in Arctic sea ice cover.

Serreze said he plans to build on NSIDC's current collaborations within CU-Boulder, as well as with NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies. He also will seek new opportunities to serve NSIDC's scientific and public audiences. NSIDC receives the bulk of its funding from NASA.

"NSIDC will continue to be an indispensable national asset, providing the global research community, the public and decision makers with the data and information needed to understand and prepare for the consequences of the changing frozen regions of Earth," said Serreze.

NSIDC supports research in the cryosphere -- which includes sea, lake and river ice, snow cover, glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets and permafrost -- by performing scientific research, managing and distributing scientific data, creating tools for data access, supporting data users and educating the public. Richard Armstrong served as interim director of NSIDC from 2008 to April 2009.

NSIDC is part of CU-Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, a joint venture of CU-Boulder and NOAA. For more information on NSIDC visit For more information on Serreze visit