Project Overview

Exploring Antarctic Permafrost Thaw with Drone Imaging and Laboratory Analyses

Faculty Sponsor

Joe Levy (




Climate change is coming to Antarctica, and our team aims to find out how warming is changing polar soil and frozen ground environments. In this project, you’ll be working with a lab team on satellite and drone-borne remote sensing of polar landscapes, looking to map meltwater features called water tracks. These meltwater features are expected to expand in warming conditions, and our goal is to determine the baseline of where they are found now, before thawing begins in earnest. You’ll also be working in the soils lab, analyzing the chemical composition and hydrological properties of Antarctic soils in order to learn more about how water moves through the soils, how it weathers the sediment into soil, and how that affects life in this most extreme of desert environments. Students on the team will work together collaboratively to investigate this fast changing polar environment. Team members will gain experience operating research drones and analyzing drone collected data. 

Student Qualifications

Experience with at least one Geology or Geography course (or Earth-related SP course) is strongly recommended.
Experience with GIS is recommended, but is not required.

Number of Student Researchers

2 students

Project Length

8 weeks

Applications open on 01/03/2022 and close on 02/04/2022

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (