Meet Ian Joughin
Polar Science Center
Applied Physics Lab
University of Washington
Role in the expedition?
I am one of the two Principal Investigators on this project to investigate the influence of surface melt on ice sheet flow in Greenland. In addition to the field component, much of my contribution to the project comes from producing estimates of ice sheet motion using radar satellites.
Why I do what I do?
I started in engineering, but after graduation gravitated more toward science because I like trying to understand how natural systems work. My graduate work focused on finding ways to measure ice sheet velocity, but once I had developed these tools I quickly became interested in using them to understand how ice sheets respond to climate change. I think my interest in ice sheets was probably furthered by the fact that I was out hiking among glaciers a lot in the Cascades while at the University of Washington. Certainly the ability to get out to the far corners of Greenland and Antarctica helps keep my job interesting.
Where did I grow up?
I was born in Montreal, Quebec, but moved over to a small farm over the border in Vermont when I was 8.
What were my favorite and least favorite things about school?
My favorites were math and science and I really detested creative writing.