The Ice Sheets and Climate Group Condemns Racism
You are all aware of the recent protests in response to systemic racism in America in late May 2020. These protests stemmed from the disturbing killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. In 2014, it was Eric Garner and Michael Brown. In 2013, it was Trayvon Martin. There have been countless others. These recurring events point to the larger issue of institutional racism that pervades all levels of society and oppresses people of color every day -- especially Black Americans. We often pride ourselves on living in a country founded by freedom but those who live in fear every day are not free. We stand in solidarity with those who feel the weight of racism and condemn those who perpetuate it. As a group consisting of white people, we can truly never begin to imagine the trauma that is endured by people of color but we do know the pain of watching those who are forced suffer it.
Sadly, this societal issue is strongly reflected in academia. In the past, many have chalked up our lack of diversity to the field which we study or the community in which we live. This is insufficient. We must do better. As a starting point, we vow to actively recruit people of color to our group, provide research opportunities to students of color through Research Experiences for Undergraduates, and recognize the contributions of people of color to research in ice sheets and climate. We vow to invite at least one speaker of color to give science talks to our group per semester. We vow to attend bias training on a yearly basis to ensure that we are regularly checking ourselves. We vow to communicate with other white members of our community about racism. We vow to speak up when others are hurting. We vow to educate ourselves and make fighting racism a priority every single day. We apologize for not taking these steps sooner and accept any criticism as a result.
For us to truly consider ourselves friends, allies, and coworkers to people of color, we must prove it through our actions. We stand with #BlackLivesMatter and we refuse to remain silent on this issue.
Tessa Gorte, Michelle Maclennan, Megan Thompson-Munson, Rebecca Baiman, Eric Keenan, Lynn Montgomery, Devon Dunmire, Nander Wever, and Jan Lenaerts
Welcome! We are the Ice Sheets and Climate research group, led by Jan Lenaerts. We are part of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC).
In our group, we try to understand and answer the following scientific questions:
How do ice sheets respond to weather, climate variability, and climate change?
What are the main processes driving this ice sheet response?
How can we improve the models that represent these processes?
Our research focuses on ice sheet surface processes, and on the interactions between the ice sheets and the regional (polar) and global climate system. We are interested in understanding the atmospheric (e.g. large-scale atmospheric circulation, atmospheric warming), snow (e.g. surface melt, runoff), and atmosphere-snow processes (e.g. albedo-melt feedback, drifting snow, polar clouds, etc.) that cause the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets to respond to weather, climate, and climate change. Our main tools are snow and climate models, which we try to understand & improve by combining observations (from the field, airborne, and satellite remote sensing) with knowledge on the physical processes.
Our group is strongly involved in the Community Earth System Model (CESM) consortium. As contributing members of the Land Ice Working Group, we aim to understand ice sheet changes in a global context.
Ice sheets and Climate group in March '20. From left to right: Michelle Maclennan (thanks to the wonders of Photoshop and Nicki), Jan Lenaerts, Nicki Montgomery, Nander Wever, Devon Dunmire, Tessa Gorte, Eric Keenan, Megan Thompson-Munson, and Brice Noël (visiting from Utrecht University).