New & Noteworthy Items

Undergraduate Alina Schulz awarded AAG Cryosphere Award

schultz alina aag poster 2019

Alina Schulz was awarded the AAG Cryosphere Section R.S Tarr Award for outstanding undergraduate poster presentation at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers, held in Washington, D.C. Her poster was titled Observing Supraglacial Stream Dynamics not he Greenland Ice Sheet Using Remote Sensing. 

Alina was also recently award the Andrew Hill Clark Award, given the outstanding senior in the graduating class in the Department of Geography. In addition to her impressive research work under the supervision of Professor Asa Rennermalm, Alina taught the first-ever First-year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS) on Geography and Global Studies on campus, developing her own syllabus for this popular undergraduate program. She also was an RU-FIT instructor, a one-credit course designed to aid international students in a successful transition to Rutgers, and was a learning assistant for both Earth Systems and Global Asia. The department congratulates Alina for these wonderful accomplishments.

Alina's poster abstract follows: The supraglacial hydrologic network that develops on the Greenland Ice Sheet surface every melt season has come to interest research due to its effects on albedo and the implications for the global climate system. Recent findings have concluded that the need to enhance the current understanding of hydrologic functions within the Greenland Ice Sheet is vital for accurately predicting global sea level rise. This study looks into the characteristics and spatial distributions of sediment in stream networks and how they impact surface albedo. While strides among in situ observations have advanced our understanding of supraglacial hydrology, the complexity of these systems demand for new gathering and analyzing techniques to scale observations to the watershed and regional scale. Through repeated drone surveys on the Russell Glacier in southwest Greenland, we collected high resolution images of a single supraglacial stream reach. Photogrammetric techniques in combination with precise ground control points aided in the creation of a digital elevation model (DEM) and orthophoto-mosaic. Supervised classification of these outputs allowed for centimeter scale analysis of sediment coverage. This, along with in-situ velocity measurements, allowed for a direct comparison of hydrologic parameters and albedo. The results contribute to the evolving knowledge base informing researchers of the dynamics contributing to the positive feedback loop involving sediment distribution and lowered surface albedo. This study shows the potential of relating fine scale Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) surveys to broad scale phenomena occurring on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet today in order to enhance future projections.