Ice Flow Change in an Eastern Greenland Fjord System

a glacier system with irregularities.

The glacier system to be studied. In the upper left of this photo, note how ice flows over and through other glaciers. This is very unusual! Most glaciers look like the glacier at the bottom of this photo, where ice flows together neatly and doesn't cross itself.

Use Google Earth Engine to explore and analyze recent changes in an unusual system of interlocking glaciers in Eastern Greenland: the Glacier de France system. 

Project description

In this project, you will explore recent changes in an unusual system of interlocking glaciers in Eastern Greenland: the Glacier de France system. Here, ice strangely flows through glacier "intersections" on its way to the sea, and the paths of ice flow have shifted over the past decades. You will use Google Earth Engine to analyze satellite photos of this glacier system since 1980 and identify changes in ice flow direction. You will next have the option to use a computer-based glacier model to investigate possible causes of the changes you identified. The results of your work will help scientists and society forecast global sea-level rise from climate change, and better understand how glaciers flow.

Project outcome

This project will culminate in a written scientific report that may be submitted for publication to a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It can also culminate in a research poster presentation at a scientific conference.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About a semester (3-5 months)
Start time Anytime
Level of collaboration Individual student project
Benefits Academic credit, work study
Who is eligible Students who have taken GLY101, 102 or 103
Udall and Goldwater Scholarships

Students participating in this project might be interested in and eligible for the Udall Scholarship and the Goldwater Scholarship. Connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to learn more.

Project mentor

Kristin Poinar

Assistant Professor


445 Hochstetter Hall

Phone: (716) 645-4286


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase.