Ross Whitmore presenting Antarctic research during Science Café

WHAT: University of Nebraska at Kearney Science Café

HOSTED BY: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society

TITLE: “Outlet Glacier Evolution of Victoria Land, Antarctica”

TOPIC: Thanks in large part to satellite observations over the last 50 years, we have a better understanding of decadal-scale changes in both ice-surface elevation and ice extent of the Antarctic ice sheet. However, we do not currently understand how the Antarctic ice sheet and the outlet glaciers that drain it behave on centennial to millennial timescales or what the main drivers of long-term thinning and retreat are. By dating glacial erratics on exposed mountain slopes next to outlet glaciers, we can reconstruct the rate, timing, magnitude and style of past ice-surface changes. Terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide analysis can extend outlet glacier thinning observations back by millennia.

Ross Whitmore uses terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide analysis to examine outlet glacier behavior in the Western Ross Sea/Victoria Land regions. This type of analysis is critical for extending the observational record of ice-surface thinning at large outlet glaciers and contextualizing the behavior of modern thinning and retreat in West Antarctica.

PRESENTER: Ross Whitmore is a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Originally from Colorado, Whitmore has lived and worked in the U.S., New Zealand and Australia. He completed his doctorate in Wellington, New Zealand, before moving to Melbourne. In addition to his research, Whitmore enjoys teaching undergraduate students and backpacking.

TIME: 5:30 p.m.

DATE: Monday, Feb. 22

ZOOM LINK: Email for password.

CONTACT: Allen Thomas, UNK associate professor of chemistry, 308.865.8490,