The Plan and The Porphyry

This summer school will be intense – long enough to learn and experience a lot, but short enough such that instructors from all over the world could give their time and help lead the next generation of glacier researchers. The goal is to not only to learn, but to be inspired by others. Students might just learn something from someone in a different field that helps them see their research in a new way, or meet someone that may become a future collaborator and change the course of their research.

So, how to create that kind of environment… every morning, we will have presentations from instructors, and every afternoon, instructors (including me) will work with students on projects related to the topics discussed in the morning. Lectures may be (relatively) easy or more difficult, and projects will be team-based, and may just be too complex to completely work out (kind of like how scientific research works in general). At the end, students will report what they have accomplished in our own little mini-conference. And in between, we’ll go out on the glacier and see how things work first-hand!


“The Porphyry” (porphyry means a hard rock consisting of crystals)

Lectures and project exercises will take place across from the hardware store, at “The Porphyry.” This is a proper log cabin, with a 5-foot door, cast iron pots hanging from ceiling logs… and a projector and whiteboard for presentations. (Just take off your shoes before entering.)

Inside The Porphyry, we will be learning about…
Continuum mechanics
Glacier mass balance
Glacier meteorology and energy balance
Tidewater glaciers
Remote sensing
Inverse methods
Glacier geomorphology
Glacier hydrology
Glacier mass changes
Ice sheet modeling
…and science communication

Did I mention it would be intense? If you don’t know what those things are in that list, you’re probably not alone. But hopefully we (including you and me) will all learn more from the students themselves. As the instructor for Science Communication during the summer school, I am going to work with students on just how they can tell you all about it. So check back on the blog for what they have to say!


Learning, inside The Porphyry

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