Project Overview

Polar and Planetary Research: Antarctic biogeochemistry and Ice Age New York Drone Mapping

Faculty Sponsor

Joe Levy (


Earth and Environmental Geosciences


How do water, rock, salt, and ice combine to make habitable conditions in modern Antarctic permafrost and relict permafrost from the last Ice Age? Students working on this project will help examine sediments returned from the field in Antarctica to measure soil properties that will reveal how polar soils connect to global biogeochemical processes, including chemical weathering and the carbon cycle. Students will also join fieldwork exploring the legacy of the last ice age in central New York and northern Pennsylvania through field trips to paleo-permafrost sites. We will use drone-borne imagers and geophysical sensors to measure soil moisture and plant health to map ancient permafrost locations. This will shed new light on environmental conditions during the collapse of the last major ice sheet, and provide insight into how deglaciating landscapes evolve and store soil carbon.

Student Qualifications

At least one course in Earth and Environmental Geoscieces or a Core Science course taught by EEGS faculty. 

Number of Student Researchers

2 students

Project Length

8 weeks

Applications open on 10/03/2023 and close on 02/28/2024

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (