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R.H.T. Bates Scholarship

The 2018 R.H.T. Bates Scholarship has been awarded to Lauren Vargo, Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington.

Quantifying glacier fluctuations is important for understanding how the cryosphere responds to climate variability and change. Photographs of past ice extents have become iconic images of climate change, but until now, incorporating these images into quantitative estimates of glacier fluctuations has been problematic. Lauren’s research includes the development of a new method to quantitatively measure past glacier fluctuations from historic images.  The method is being developed for application to 50 New Zealand glaciers that have been monitored by aerial photographs since 1977, but until now have only been qualitatively evaluated. Quantifying recent changes in New Zealand glaciers is of particular interest, as they provide one of the few Southern Hemisphere records of maritime glacier variability, and their high sensitivity to climate makes them excellent indicators of climate change.