• Sasha Leidman
  • Sasha Leidman
  • Research Interests: glaciology, polar sciences, hydrology, geomorphology, remote sensing
  • Advisor: Åsa Rennermalm
  • Degree: Ph.D.



I study how melting on the Greenland Ice Sheet affects the amount of sunlight absorbed by the ice. Increased melting on the surface of the ice caused by climate change increases the number of dark surfaces, resulting in even more sunlight absorption and melting. I study this potential domino effect at two locations on the ice sheet. In the upper regions, I drill shallow ice cores looking for layers of dark, refrozen melt-water in the snow. In lower regions, I map supraglacial streams (streams flowing on top of the ice) with drones and GPS to measure velocity, stream geometry, spectral reflectance, and water flow to determine how these rivers will change in warming climates.

Previous Degrees:

  • B.S., Geology, University of California, Davis




Leidman, S. Z., Rennermalm, Å. K., Getraer, A., Muthyala, R., Skiles, S. M. (Submitted 2022) Evolution of Supraglacial Floodplains on the Greenland Ice Sheet Over the 2019 Melt Season. Remote Sensing of Environment.Leidman, S. Z., Rennermalm, Å. K., Lathrop, R. G., & Cooper, M. (2021) Terrain-Based Shadow Correction Method for Assessing Supraglacial Features on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Frontiers in Remote Sensing, 20.Leidman, S. Z., Rennermalm, Å. K, Muthyala, R. Guo, Q. C., Overeem, I. (2021) The Presence and Widespread Distribution of Dark Sediment in Greenland Ice Sheet Streams Implies Substantial Impact of Microbial Communities on Sediment Transport and Albedo. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, 1.Muthyala, R., Rennermalm, A. K., Leidman, S. Z., Cooper, M. G., Cooley, S. W., Smith, L. C., & van As, D. (2020). Seasonal Variability in In-situ Supraglacial Streamflow and Drivers in Southwest Greenland in 2016. The Cryosphere Discussions, 1-28.Cooper, M. G., Smith, L. C., Rennermalm, Å. K, Tedesco, M., Muthyala, R., Leidman, S. Z., Moustafa, S. E., Fayne, J. V. (2020) Spectral attenuation coefficients from measurements of light transmission in bare ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet. The Cryosphere, 15(4), 1931-1953.Leidman, S. Z., Rennermalm, Å. K, Broccoli, A., As, D. V., Hubbard, A., Steffen, K., Broeke, M. V. D. (2020). Methods for Predicting the Likelihood of Safe Fieldwork Conditions in Harsh Environments. Frontiers of Glaciology, 8, 260.Mackey, T., Sumner, D. Y., Hawes, I., Leidman, S. Z., Andersen, D., Jungblut, A. (2018). Stromatolite records of changing primary productivity in perennially ice covered Lake Joyce, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Biogeochemistry.  Mackey, T. J., Sumner, D. Y., Hawes, I., Jungblut, A. D., Lawrence, J., Leidman, S. Z., & Allen, B. (2017). Increased mud deposition reduces stromatolite complexity. Geology, 45(7), 663-666. Castendyk, D. N., Obryk, M. K., Leidman, S. Z., Gooseff, M., & Hawes, I. (2016). LakeVanda: A sentinel for climate change in the McMurdo Sound Region of Antarctica. Global and Planetary Change, 144, pp.213-227.


  • Leidman, S. Z. and Burrows, R. (2014). Updated Condition of Denali National Park Glaciers: A Detailed Look at Changes in Glacier Extent and Ice Loss on the Kahiltna and East Fork Toklat Glaciers. NPS Natural Resources Technical Report.


  • Winner of the AAG Middle States Student Paper Competition (2021)
  • Finalist for the Rutgers 3 Minute Thesis Competition (2020)
  • Winner of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Award (2018)
  • Winner of the CUAHSI Pathfinder Fellowship (2018)
  • Nominee for the AAG National Geography Bowl (2018)
  • Second Prize in the AAG Middle States Student Poster Competition (2018)
  • Recipient of the RS Tarr AAG Cryosphere Group Award (2017)
  • Recipient of the UC Davis Provost Undergraduate Fellowship (2014)
  • Finalist for the Mars Arctic 365 Program (2014)
  • Recipient of the Thomas W. Todd Scholarship (2013)


  • Councilmember for Pride in Polar Research (2020-2022)
  • Member of the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States Membership Development Council (2020-2022)
  • Member of the International Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) Code of Conduct Committee
  • Member of the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee (2020-2022)
  • President/Founder of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists Project Group on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (2017–2018)
  • Member of the APECS International Council (2017–2018)
  • Faculty Member for the Juneau Icefield Research Program (2018)
  • Guest Lecturer for Rutgers FIGS Seminar on Hydrology (2018), Rutgers Spatial Data Analysis (2017), and Earth Systems (2016)
  • Board Member of the AAG Cryosphere Group (2017–2018)
  • President of the Rutgers Geography Graduate Project (2017–2018)
  • President of the UC Davis Wilderness Medicine Club (2010–2014)


Curriculum Vitae