The Greenland Ice Sheet contains enough water to raise sea level by more than
7 meters. Estimations of the rate of ice loss from Greenland under warming climate are vital
for predicting rates of future sea level rise. University of Arkansas professor Matt Covington,
with support from the National Science Foundation, has spent the last two summers
conducting field work on the Greenland Ice Sheet trying to understand how the sliding motion
of the ice is impacted by meltwater that flows into giant holes in the ice called moulins. Each
summer, the team was helicoptered out to establish a remote camp on the ice sheet, where
they had to work self-sufficiently in harsh conditions over a period of several weeks. Matt will
discuss the scientific research that his team was conducting and share stories, photos, and
videos from their adventures working on the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Matt Covington grew up in Fayetteville, completed undergraduate degrees in physics and
philosophy at the University of Arkansas, and then continued on to a PhD in theoretical
astrophysics at the University of California - Santa Cruz. During his education, he led a
second life as an expedition caver, helping to explore and map some of the deepest and most
difficult caves in the word. In the final year of his PhD, he decided to combine his passion for
caves and the outdoors with his mathematical modeling skill set from physics and has since
pursued research in hydrogeology and geomorphology, focusing mainly on caves, karst, and
glaciers. Dr. Covington was an NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of
Minnesota, and then an NSF International Postdoctoral Scholar at the Karst Research
Institute in Slovenia before returning home and joining the Geosciences faculty at the
University of Arkansas in 2012.
Giveaways from Outdoor Research and free sweets from Dirty Apron Bakehouse!
Space is limited so please register! Also, bring a chair!