RICHARD R FORSTER, PHD portrait
  • Interim Associate Dean College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • Associate Dean College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Social & Behav Science-Dean
  • Professor, Geography Department
801-581-3611

Research Statement

My research primarily focuses on using remote sensing data to derive information about snow and ice conditions at the Earth's surface. More specifically I study glaciers and seasonal snow cover response to climate change. This work is geographically focused on Alaska, Greenland, Antarctica, and the Intermountain West. The data sets I use most frequently are based on microwave remote sensing, especially synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and interferometric SAR (InSAR). In addition, I use InSAR to measure ground displacement due to hydrologic processes.

Presentations

  • Greenland Ice Sheet snow accumulation rates from field measurements and remote sensing. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 02/09/2012.
  • Near-surface water layer discovered within the Greenland Ice Sheet during winter conditions from firn cores, ground based radar, and Operation IceBridge radars. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 01/25/2012.
  • Rick Forster, Jason Box, Clement Miege, Evan Burgess, Lora Koenig, John Paden, Prasad Gogineni, Joe McConnell “Near-surface water layer discovered within the Greenland Ice Sheet during winter conditions from firn cores, ground based radar, and Operation IceBridge radars” , American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 5-9. Presentation, Presented, 12/09/2011.
  • Evan W. Burgess; Richard R. Forster; Christopher F. Larsen; Matthias Braun, “Ice Dynamics on a 2008 - 2011 surge of the Bering Glacier, AK”, American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 5-9. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 12/2011.
  • Julie Miller*; Richard R. Forster; David G. Long; Ronny Schröder; Kyle C. McDonald; Jason E. Box, “Snow accumulation rate retrieval across the Greenland ice facies using SeaWinds on QuikSCAT”, American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 5-9. Poster, Presented, 12/2011.
  • James B. Turrin*; Richard R. Forster; Ronald L. Bruhn; Jeanne M. Sauber, “Velocity, slope change, and structural control of the 2008-2011 surge of Bering Glacier, Alaska, from a time-series of Landsat-7 ETM+ imagery”, American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 5-9. Poster, Presented, 12/2011.
  • Vena W. Chu; Laurence C. Smith; Asa K. Rennermalm; Richard R. Forster; Jason E. Box, “Hydrologic controls on coastal suspended sediment plumes around the Greenland Ice Sheet”, American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 5-9. Poster, Presented, 12/2011.
  • Landon K. Burgener; Summer Rupper; Jessica Williams; Rachel Marker; William F. Christensen; Lora Koenig; Clement Miege; Michelle R. Koutnik; Richard R. Forster, “West Antarctic Ice Sheet temporal and spatial accumulation variability from five new snowpits and firn cores”, American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 5-9. Presentation, Presented, 12/2011.
  • Asa K. Rennermalm; Laurence C. Smith; Vena W. Chu; Richard R. Forster; Birgit Hagedorn; Jason E. Box; Michiel R. van den Broeke, “Controls on Greenland Ice Sheet Runoff from a Land Terminating Glacier”, American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 5-9. Presentation, Presented, 12/2011.
  • invited talk at NASA meeting, Rick Forster, "Arctic Circle Traverse 2010 and 2011(ACT-10/11):South East Greenland snow accumulation variability from firn coring and ice sounding radar". Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 01/19/2011.
  • Evan Burgess*, Richard R. Forster, Jeanne Sauber, Ronald Bruhn, and Michele Cotton, “Tectonic implication of ice surface velocity in the St. Elias Range, Alaska, USA, American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 13 – 17. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 12/2010.
  • Evan Burgess*, Richard R. Forster, and Dorothy Hall, “Alaskan glacier velocity maps from spaceborne SAR data”, American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 13 – 17. Poster, Presented, 12/2010.
  • Jeanne Sauber, Ronald Bruhn, Richard R. Forster, Michelle Cotton, and Evan Burgess, “DesDIyn in Alaska”, American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 13 – 17. Poster, Presented, 12/2010.
  • Julie Miller*, Richard R. Forster, Kyle McDonald, “Snow accumulation estimates from microwave satellite data”, American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 13 – 17. Poster, Presented, 12/2010.
  • Jamie Turin*, and Richard R. Forster, “Ice surface velocity measurements of Alaskan glaciers from optical satellite data”, American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 13 – 17. Poster, Presented, 12/2010.
  • Asa Rennermalm, Laurence C. Smith, Vena W. Chu, Richard R. Forster, Jason Box, and Bridgit Hagedorn, “Controls on proglacial river discharge in Southwest Greenland”, American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 13 – 17. Poster, Presented, 12/2010.
  • Richard R. Forster, Clement Miege, Jason E. Box, Joe McConnell, V. Blue Spikes, and Evan Burgess, “The Arctic Circle Traverse 2010”, American Geophysical Union Annual meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 13 – 17. Poster, Presented, 12/2010.
  • Richard Forster, Utah Museum of Natural History Science Movie Night at the Salt Lake City downtown library, “A Greenland ice sheet snowmobile traverse to measure snow accumulation”. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/05/2010.
  • Richard Forster, NASA Goddard Space Flight Facility “Alaska glacier velocity variability and a field campaign to measure SE Greenland accumulation coincident with IceBridge”. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 08/30/2010.

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • Collaborative Research: The Greenland Firn Aquifer Impacts on Ice Sheet Hydrology: Characterizing Volume, Flow, and Discharge (1417987). PI: Richard R Forster. National Science Foundation, 2014 - 08/31/2017. Total project budget to date: $725,187.00
  • An initial investigation of the Greenland perennial firn aquifer. PI: Richard Forster. 01/01/2013 - 01/01/2015. Total project budget to date: $213,598.00
  • Mechanisms of Alaskan glacier motion through observation of surface velocities and ice thickness. PI: Richard Forster. NASA, 09/15/2009 - 09/14/2012. Total project budget to date: $90,000.00
  • Investigation of Spatial and Temporal Variation in Snowpack Properties and Their Microwave Radiative Response Using High Resolution Broadband (2-18-GHz) Active Microwave Radar Measurements. PI: Han Petter Marshal. Co-PI(s): Richard Forster. NASA, 09/09/2008 - 09/08/2009. Total project budget to date: $474,074.00
  • Measuring Snow Water Equivalent Using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR). PI: Richard Forster. NASA, 09/15/2006 - 02/15/2010. Total project budget to date: $72,000.00
  • ANTARCTICA ACCUMULATION PATTER. PI: FORSTER PHD,RICHARD R. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION, 07/01/2010 - 07/31/2013. Total project budget to date: $525,850.00
  • GREENLAND SNOW ACCUMULATION. PI: FORSTER PHD,RICHARD R. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION, 09/15/2009 - 08/31/2012. Total project budget to date: $653,745.00
  • SNOW RUNOFF MODELING. PI: FORSTER PHD,RICHARD R. NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENT, 02/02/2009 - 02/01/2010. Total project budget to date: $32,997.00
  • GLACIO-SEISMOTECTONNICS ALASKA. PI: FORSTER PHD,RICHARD R. NATIONAL AERONAUTICS & SPACE A, 10/01/2008 - 09/30/2011. Total project budget to date: $752,000.00
  • ALASKA GLACIER VELOCITIES. PI: FORSTER PHD,RICHARD R. NATIONAL AERONAUTICS & SPACE A, 05/09/2008 - 05/08/2011. Total project budget to date: $543,722.00

Research/Scholarship Projects

  • Wind River Range glacier measurements. PI: Jeff VanLooy. Co-PI(s): Rick Forster. 07/31/2011 - 08/11/2011.

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • Antarctica
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Greenland
  • Nepal

Publications

  • Clément Miège*, Richard R. Forster, Ludovic Brucker, Lora S. Koenig, D. Kip Solomon, John D. Paden, Jason E. Box, Evan W. Burgess, Julie Z. Miller, Laura McNerney, Noah Brautigam, Robert S. Fausto and Sivaprasad Gogineni, (2016) “Spatial extent and temporal variability of the Greenland firn aquifer detected by ground and airborne radars”, Journal of Geophysical Research, V. 121, I. 12, pp 2381–2398, doi:10.1002/2016JF003869. Published, 12/2016.
  • Smith, Laurence C, Chu, Vena W, Legleiter, Carl J, Pitcher, Lincoln H, Overstreet, Brandon T, Rennermalm, Asa K, Forster, Richard R, Yang, Kang & Gleason, Colin J (2016). Characterizing supraglacial meltwater channel hydraulics on the Greenland Ice Sheet from in situ observations: Characterizing supraglacial channel hydraulics in the field. Wiley-Blackwell. Published, 2016.
  • David Selkowitz*, Richard R. Forster, “An Automated Approach for Mapping Persistent Ice and Snow Cover over High Latitude Regions”, Remote Sensing, 8(1);2016, doi: 10.3390/rs8010016. Published, 01/2016.
  • David J. Selkowitz*, Richard R. Forster, “Automated Mapping of Persistent Ice and Snow Cover Across the Western U.S. with Landsat”, (2016) ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 117, 126-140, doi:10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2016.04.001. Published, 01/2016.
  • Lora S. Koenig, A. Ivanoff, P.M. Alexander, J. A. MacGregor, X. Fettweis, B. Panzer, J.D. Paden, R.R. Forster, I. Das, J. McConnell, C. Leuschen and P. Gogineni “Annual Greenland accumulation rates (2009-2012) from airborne Snow Radar”, The Cryosphere Discuss., 9, 6697–6731, doi:10.5194/tcd-9-6697-2015. Published, 12/2015.
  • Smith, Laurence C., Chu, Vena W., Yang, Kang, Gleason, Colin J., Pitcher, Lincoln H., Rennermalm, Asa K., Legleiter, Carl J., Behar, Alberto E., Overstreet, Brandon T., Moustafa, Samiah E., Tedesco, Marco, Forster, Richard R., LeWinter, Adam L., Finnegan, David C., Sheng, Yongwei & Balog, James (2015). Efficient meltwater drainage through supraglacial streams and rivers on the southwest Greenland ice sheet. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol. 112(4), 1001-1006. Published, 2015.
  • RUPPER, Summer, CHRISTENSEN, William F., BICKMORE, Barry R., BURGENER, Landon, KOENIG, Lora S., KOUTNIK, Michelle R., MIÈGE, Clément & FORSTER, Richard R. (2015). The effects of dating uncertainties on net accumulation estimates from firn cores. International Glaciological Society. Vol. 61(225), 163-172. Published, 2015.
  • David Selkowitz*, Richard R. Forster, and Megan K. Caldwell, “Prevalence of pure versus mixed snow cover pixels across spatial resolutions in alpine environments”, Remote Sensing, 6(12), 12478-12508; doi:10.3390/rs61212478. Published, 01/04/2015.
  • “Extensive liquid meltwater storage in firn within the Greenland ice sheet”, Nature Geoscience, 22 Dec., 2013, doi: 10.1038/NGEO2043. Published, 12/2013.
  • “Summer melt regulates winter glacier flow speeds throughout Alaska”, Geophysical Research Letters., 40, 23, pp 6160–6164, DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058228. Published, 08/2013.
  • “Flow Velocities of Alaska Glaciers” Nature Communications, 4:2146 doi: 10.1038/ncomms3146. Published, 07/2013.
  • “Southeast Greenland high accumulation rates derived from firn cores and ground-penetrating radar”, Annals of Glaciology, 54(63), pp. 322-332. Published, 06/2013.
  • “The propagation of a surge front on Bering Glacier, Alaska, 2001–2011”, Annals of Glaciology 54(63) doi:10.3189/2013AoJ63A341. Published, 05/2013.
  • “Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet”, The Cryosphere, 7(5), 1433–1445, doi:10.5194/tc-7-1433-2013. Published, 04/2013.
  • Greenland ice sheet mass balance reconstruction. Part I: net snow accumulation (1600-2009). J. Climate, 26, 3919–3934. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00373.1. Published, 03/2013.
  • An observed negative trend in West Antarctin accumulation rates from 1975 to 2010 evidence form new observed and simulated records. Journal of Geophysical Research, (2012JD018579). Published, 02/2013.
  • “Understanding Greenland ice sheet hydrology using an integrated multi-scale approach” Environmental Research Letters, 8, 015017 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/015017. Published, 01/2013.
  • “Surge dynamics on Bering Glacier, Alaska, in 2008–2011”, The Cryosphere, 6, 1251–1262, doi:10.5194/tc-6-1251-2012. Published, 11/07/2012.
  • “Evidence of meltwater retention within the Greenland ice sheet”, The Cryosphere Discuss., 6, 3369–3396, doi:10.5194/tcd-6-3369-2012. Published, 08/09/2012.
  • “Greenland ice sheet mass balance reconstruction. Part I: net snow accumulation (1600-2009)”, Journal of Climate, in press, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00373.1. Published, 06/2012.
  • “Proglacial river stage, discharge, and temperature datasets from the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua River northern tributary, Southwest Greenland, 2008–2011”, 2012, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 4, 1-12, doi:10.5194/essd-4-1-2012. Published, 05/12/2012.
  • Spatially variable surface elevation changes and estimated melt water contribution of Continental Glacier in the Wind River Range, Wyoming, USA: 1966 - 2011”, Geocarto International, 1-16, 2012, doi:10.1080/10106049.2012.665500. Published, 02/07/2012.
  • Jeffrey A. VanLooy* and Richard R. Forster, “Use of historical elevation data to calculate surface elevation and volume changes of Ha-Iltzuk Icefield, southwest British Columbia, 1970 to mid1980s”, 2011, Annals of Glaciology, Volume 52, Number 59, December 2011 , pp. 109-115(7). Accepted, 07/2011.
    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/igsoc/agl/20...
  • Elias J. Deeb *, Richard R. Forster, and Douglas L. Kane, 2011, “Monitoring Snowpack Evolution Using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) on the North Slope of Alaska, USA”, International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 32, No. 14, 3985-4003, doi: 10.1080/01431161003801351. Accepted, 06/30/2011.
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0143116...
  • Joo-Yup Han*, Richard R. Forster, D.E. Moser, A.L.J. Ford, J.Ramirez-Hernandez, K.F. Tiampo, “The spatial and temporal subsidence variability of the East Mesa Geothermal Field, CA, USA and its potential impact on the All American Canal System”, International Journal of Remote Sensing,Volume 32 Issue 12, 3427-3449, doi: 10.1080/01431161003749444, June 2011,. Accepted, 06/28/2011.
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0143116...
  • Chu, V. W., Smith, L. C., Rennermalm, A. K., Forster, R. R., and Box, J. E.: Hydrologic controls on coastal suspended sediment plumes around the Greenland Ice Sheet, The Cryosphere, 6, 1-19, doi:10.5194/tc-6-1-2012, 2012. Accepted, 05/12/2011.
    http://www.the-cryosphere.net/6/1/2012/tc-6-1-2012...
  • Evan W. Burgess*, Richard R. Forster, Jason E. Box, Ellen Mossley-Thompson, David H. Bromwich, Roger C. Bales, Laurence C. Smith, “A Spatially Calibrated Model of Annual Accumulation Rate on the Greenland Ice Sheet (1958-2007)”, Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface, 115, F02004, doi:10.1029/2009JF001293.. Published, 04/2010.
  • Evan W. Burgess*, Richard R. Forster, Jason E. Box, Ellen Mossley-Thompson, David H. Bromwich, Roger C. Bales, Laurence C. Smith, “A Spatially Calibrated Model of Annual Accumulation Rate on the Greenland Ice Sheet (1958-2007)”, Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface, accepted for publication 11/2009. Accepted, 2009.
  • Vena W. Chu, Laurence C. Smith, Asa K. Rennermalm, Richard R. Forster, Jason E. Box, Niels Reeh, “Sediment plume response to surface melting and supraglacial lake drainages on the Greenland ice sheet”, Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 55, No. 194, 1072-1082. Published, 2009.
    http://www.igsoc.org/journal/55/194/j09j025.pdf
  • Jeffery VanLooy*, Richard. Forster, and Andrew Ford, “Accelerating thinning of Kenai Peninsula glaciers, Alaska”, in State of the Cryosphere: Glaciers and Ice Sheets, ed. Hamish Pritchard, Special Publications Volume 60, SP0607314, ISBN: 978-0-87590-731-4. Published, 2009.
  • Ronald L. Bruhn, Richard R. Forster, Andrew L.J. Ford*, Terry L. Pavlis, and Michael Vorkink, “Structural geology and glacier dynamics, Bering and Steller Glaciers, Alaska”, in Geological Society of America Monograph Bering Glacier: Interdisciplinary Studies of Earth’s Largest Temperate Surging Glacier, SPE462 eds. Robert A. Shuchman and Edward G. Josberger, accepted for publication 6/2/2009. Accepted, 2009.
  • Lora S. Koenig*, Richard R. Forster, Thomas C. Grenfell, and Eric J. Steig, “Measurements of Microwave Extinction lengths near 37 GHz from Summit and Swiss Camp, Greenland”, submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface. Submitted, 2009.