Rajashree (Tri) Datta
Research Associate
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences


My research focuses on how atmospheric drivers affect the surface mass balance of the surface of ice sheets and ice shelves. I’m particularly interested in how extreme events can affect surface mass balance non-linearly. The main tool I use is a variable resolution version of the global climate model CESM2 (VR-CESM). I’ve designed and run a new grid with a higher-resolution domain over Antarctica to examine the effect of large scale drivers (e.g. circulation and sea ice conditions) on precipitation. I am especially interested in extreme precipitation events which can produce large quantities of snow over Antarctica in very short periods of time.

Past Work:
My research has also used both spaceborne passive microwave and the regional climate model MAR to examine how foehn winds over the Antarctic Peninsula impact surface melt and densification on the Larsen C ice shelf. Observational work has developed an algorithm for high-resolution lake depth using ICESat-2 which, when used in combination with high-resolution commercial imagery, was used to resolve supraglacial lake bathymetry over Western Greenland during an intense melt season in 2019. My fieldwork experiences include two tours of the Antarctic portion of the airborne NASA Operation IceBridge mission as well as participation in the NASA SnowEx campaign.

More About Me:

I believe that the best science is created when scientists are representative of the diversity of the people we serve; I am committed to expanding research opportunities for minoritized students within my work. In addition to my area of expertise, I have an interest in the Philosophy of Science (especially as it applies to climate science).

I live in Boulder, CO, where I also enjoy hiking and biking, but I’m not especially good at either (this doesn’t bother me in the least).