Monitoring the Snowpack in Remote, Ungauged Mountains from Satellite and Computers


September 5, 2013


The objective is to estimate seasonal snow volumes, relative to historical trends and extremes, in snow-dominated mountains that have austere infrastructure, sparse gauging, challenges of accessibility, and emerging or enduring insecurity related to water resources. The world’s mountains accumulate substantial snow and, in some areas, produce the bulk of the runoff. In ranges like Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush, availability of water resources affects US policy, military and humanitarian operations, and national security. The rugged terrain makes surface measurements difficult and also affects the analysis of remotely sensed data. My approach combines optical imagery, passive microwave data, and retrospective reconstruction with energy balance calculations.


Jeff Dozier

Jeff Dozier, Professor – Snow Hydrology, Earth System Science, Remote Sensing PhD, MS, Geography, University of Michigan; BA, Geography, California State University, Hayward. Jeff Dozier has been on the UCSB faculty since 1974 and was the founding dean of the Bren School. He has led interdisciplinary studies in two areas: one addresses hydrologic science, environmental engineering, and social science in the water environment; the other is in the integration of environmental science and remote sensing with computer science and technology. From 1990-92, he was the senior project scientist for NASA’s Earth Observing System, when the configuration for the system was established. Among Jeff’s honors are the 2009 Jim Gray Award from Microsoft for his achievements in data-intensive science and his selection as the 2010 Nye Lecturer for the Cryosphere group of the American Geophysical Union. A long-time backcountry skier, mountaineer, and rock climber, he helped lead six expeditions to the Hindu Kush range in Afghanistan and has a dozen first ascents there. The story behind the naming of Dozier Dome in the Sierra Nevada can be found in the Super Topo Climbing Forum.