Meet the JIRP Faculty
The JIRP field program relies on over 20 faculty who rotate in over the course of the summer. This model lends students a wide variety of perspectives and allows us to cover a range of relevant topics within earth science. In charge of this rotation we have two groups of faculty in leadership positions. The first, the Academic Council, spend their off-season charting the academic course for future years of JIRP. The second, the Research Leads, design and lead a student research project group within their area of expertise. These two groups are the cornerstones of JIRP academics and we are immensely grateful for their hard work both during the field season and during the fall, spring, and winter.
Dr. Seth Campbell
Director of Academics and Research
Seth had his first inspiring experience on the Icefield as a JIRP student in 2007. Since then, he has mentored JIRP students as a seasonal member of the Academic Council. Seth is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Maine and Research Geophysicist at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. He has participated in over fifty cryosphere research field seasons to Alaska, Antarctica, Canada, South America, and Greenland. Prior to his academic and research career, he worked as an Emergency Medical Technician, wilderness medicine instructor, and rock climbing instructor. He holds a B.A., B.S., M.S. and PhD in Earth and Climate Sciences as well as an M.B.A
The Academic Council
Dr. Sarah Fortner
Sarah is an Earth advocate and an Associate Professor of Geology and Environmental Science at Wittenberg University. Mentoring is her favorite role, she works hard to decolonize climate science, train researchers, and empower students as scientists and agents of change. She collaborates with scientists, educators, community stakeholders and policy makers at the local to national level. Lately, she's been splitting her time writing about the biogeochemistry of cryoconite holes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys and developing a resilience toolkit in collaboration with GSA and AGI. She's watched glaciers retreat firsthand on the Juneau Icefield since 1995. This is both sad and fueling. Inclusive science, teaching, and advocacy are core to needed climate justice. #BlackLivesMatter
Dr. Brad Markle
Isotope Geochemistry Lead
Brad is a postdoc at the Earth Research Institute, University of California Santa Barbara. Brad first participated in JIRP as a student in 2007 (with Seth and Allen!). Since 2011 Brad has been sampling all the various possible roles with JIRP: staff, staffulty, faculty, project lead, academic lead, wizard. On JIRP, Brad teaches about climate, paleoclimate, and geochemistry and has been helping to lead the isotope geochemistry project for the last few years. Brad studies climate variability and climate dynamics in the past using ice core records and climate models. He got his PhD from the University of Washington in 2017, went to New Zealand in 2011 on a Fulbright to get an MSc, and has a BA from Pomona College. He likes to climb, run, ski, drink coffee, and scheme boondoggles.
Brad on JIRP : "JIRP is the best people in the world, in the best place in the world, having the most fun in world."
Dr. Lindsey Nicholson
Lindsey is a glaciologist, who, since 2013, has been coming to JIRP to teach whenever she can spare summer weeks from studying the glaciers in the European Alps. Lindsey did a BSc in Geography before going on to earn a PhD studying the glaciers of the Himalaya. Since then she has worked in a snow and ice core chemistry lab in Canada, moved to Chile to study glaciers and snow hydrology in the arid Andes, and finally landed in Austria, which has proved hard to leave. She is currently a senior researcher and glaciology group leader at the University of Innsbruck. On JIRP Lindsey teaches mainly about glaciers and their interaction with climate, but being a bit of a jack-of-all-trades she can turn her hand to many aspects of Earth and atmospheric sciences. Lindsey still aspires to learn the guitar one day but snowboarding, hiking, climbing and mountain biking adventures often get in the way.
Lindsey on JIRP: JIRP is how life should be: Cooperative, challenging, caring, adventurous, educational and delightful - everyone bringing their very best to the game.
Dr. Allen Pope
Allen is the Executive Secretary of the International Arctic Science Committee (where he helps Arctic scientists collaborate across disciplinary and national boundaries) as well as a Research Scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (where his research is based on using satellite imagery to monitor glacier surface processes around the world). Allen first came to JIRP as a student in 2007 (with Brad and Seth!) and has returned to contribute academically every chance he has gotten since. Allen's remote sensing and GIS background has helped JIRPers visualize and analyze the data from their research, as well as share what they have learned with audiences in Atlin, Juneau, and international scientific conferences. He holds degrees from Harvard University (A.B. in Chemistry and Earth & Planetary Sciences in 2008) and Cambridge University (M.Phil and PhD in Polar Studies in 2009 and 2013). Allen also tweets about polar science (@PopePolar), has taught yoga classes in JIRP cookshacks on stormy days, and is a mentor/dessert critic for the JIRP bakers and pastry chefs.
Allen on JIRP: "For me, science is about processes and about people. On JIRP, we get physically connected to the processes we are trying to understand while learning from and working alongside some of the best people in the world."
Dr. Kiya Riverman
Kiya is a postdoc at the University of Oregon, studying glacial hydrology and ice flow. She has been spending her summers with JIRP since 2014, leading projects ranging from active seismic and gravity surveys of Taku glacier to modeling the Icefield to supraglacial hydrology of the Llewelyn glacier. Kiya got her PhD in Geosciences from Penn State in 2017, and her B.S. in Earth Science from Oregon State in 2011. Her work tends to take her to far-off corners of the world, including Antarctica, Greenland, and Svalbard. When she's actually at home in Oregon, she's a fan of cooking overly complicated recipes, climbing/caving/canyoneering, and the beautiful pairing of earl grey and a good book.
Kiya on JIRP: "Every year, JIRP reminds me why I study what I do. There's nothing I love quite so much as blowing student's minds over the beautiful complexity of glaciers."
Dr. Catharine White
Catharine joined JIRP as a guest faculty member in the 2016 field season and has been hooked ever since. Her primary research background is in microbiology and plant-microbe interactions. She currently teaches at Northwest Community College in Terrace, British Columbia, where she most enjoys working on field projects with students. With JIRP, her science contributions have been in geobotany, soils, nutrient cycling, and overall life processes on the nunataks and the icefield. When not at the College or JIRP, she prefers to be out exploring in the mountains or on the ocean. Catharine has a PhD in Microbiology from Cornell University.
Catharine on JIRP: “I am honoured to be a part of this amazing program, and I always look forward to meeting the next year’s students and another field season of science, learning, and exploration on the Icefield!”
The Research Leads
Glacier Mass Balance Lead
Chris McNeil, formally a commercial clam digger from Essex, Massachusetts, first traveled to the Juneau Icefield as a student in 2009 while an undergraduate student at Salem State University. Chris continued to participate in the program as field safety staff, leading mass balance measurements, and assisting in logistics for the next three summers. During the 2012 field season Chris met JIRP faculty member Shad O'Neel, and shortly thereafter moved to Anchorage and began working with Shad on the US Geological Survey Benchmark Glacier Project. Chris earned an M.Sc. from Alaska Pacific University in 2016, and continues to work for the USGS as a geophysicist. He now spends his days working towards homogenizing glacier mass balance time-series in North America, rock climbing, hiking with his dog, and reveling in the world class backcountry skiing of South Central Alaska.
Chris on JIRP: “First, watching students make the same physical, emotional, and academic journey I did myself nearly ten years ago fills my heart with joy. Second, passing on a scientific lineage of observing glacier change from basin to regional scales, which extends back to the days of John Muir, is an honor I hold dearly.”
Though Lynn never joined JIRP as a student, she heard endless stories of past adventures from the ridiculous number of JIRP alumni at the University of Maine (the location of her current PhD program in glaciology). Desperate to get in on the action, Lynn joined as a first-time faculty member in 2017 to teach geophysics. Her graduate work involves combing remote-sensing data, geophysical observations, and numerical modeling techniques to study dynamic glacier processes. Lynn’s main research project focuses on ice shelf break up processes in Antarctica where she has participated in three field seasons.
When Lynn isn’t traveling to either of Earth’s polar regions (or sitting in front of a computer screen) you’ll probably find her whitewater kayaking or playing with her beloved cat Yolanda.
Lynn on JIRP: “I cannot wait to teach again on the icefield this season! While at JIRP I find myself feeding off the student’s excitement and passion which makes teaching science in such a beautiful place all the more rewarding.”
Scott got his first taste of JIRP as a student in 1988, and 30 years later the aftertaste is still strong. Professionally, he is a Cartographer with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Anchorage, Alaska. His specialty is the application of geographic information systems (GIS) to the management of the National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. He has a B.A. degree in Natural Resource Management from Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage. Scott’s work on the icefield includes coordinating and conducting the geomatics fieldwork, which typically involves measuring surface elevations and surface velocities of the Taku Glacier system, providing GPS support for other research projects, and instructing students on the use of GPS and GIS.
In his spare time, Scott enjoys knocking around Alaska doing typical outdoor stuff – hiking, climbing, skiing, etc. Lately, he’s gotten an itch for bicycle touring – across Europe from Oslo to Rome and most recently, across Australia from Perth to Sydney.
Scott on JIRP: “I still remember first few days of Juneau week as a student, getting to know my fellow students and the faculty and staff. Even now, all these years later, I’m still close friends with several of the students from my first year on JIRP. That’s one of the things that stands out to me – fellow JIRPers can become friends for life. It’s why we say, ‘Once a JIRPer, always a JIRPer!’".
Lara joined JIRP as a graduate student in 2015 and participated in the GPS survey group. She continued to participate in the program as field safety staff, leading GPS survey measurements during the 2016, 2017, and 2018 field seasons. Lara graduated from Pitzer College in 2011 with a double major in Environmental Biology and Geology and earned her M.Sc. in Geographic Information Science and Technology from the University of Southern California in 2016. Her thesis focused on combining in situ GPS measurements with satellite imagery.
Previously, Lara was a researcher for the Institute for Bird Populations, studying the foraging habits of Black-backed Woodpeckers, a contender for the Endangered Species List. She also worked as a researcher for Under the Trees, a privately owned forest research firm, which conducts carbon inventories and forest management inventories for private and public landowners. A level two PSIA certified ski instructor, she is currently a ski instructor and training assistant at Northstar Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe, CA. Lara is interested in using GIS to analyze the effects of recent anthropogenic climate change on the condition and extent of glaciers and the long-term implication of these changes on surrounding watersheds.
Hannah Perrine Mode
Student Artist Prog. Coordinator
Hannah is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and illustrator currently living in Oakland, CA. She uses art to help people access a more empathic and intimate understanding of climate science, geologic forces, and human geography. She has studied the relationship between people and place around the world.
Hannah was the inaugural Artist-In-Resident on JIRP in 2017, and returned as faculty in 2018. She loves brainstorming with JIRP folks on all the different ways to use art as a tool for science communication and interdisciplinary learning on the Icefield. In the Bay Area, Hannah organizes a variety of community place-making and storytelling projects, works as a freelance illustrator, and teaches art. She has a BS in Studio Art from Skidmore College and is graduating with an MFA in Studio Art from Mills College in May 2018.
When she's not on the Icefield, she tries to bring as much JIRP-iness into her life as possible, including participating in a one-woman ceramic knot-tying competition, teaching herself (poorly) to tele ski, and making some super whacky ice sculptures.
Hannah on JIRP: "I love sharing in a such a strong community of like-minded scientists, artists, and explorers - while together experiencing the beauty and solitude of the Icefield."