Nicole Schaffer

NicoleNicole Schaffer is currently working on her Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Dr. Luke Copland and Dr. Christian Zdanowicz. Her research aims to assess the historical, current and future mass balance response of Penny Ice Cap, southern Baffin Island, to climate warming. Her approach combines remote sensing techniques and in-situ data collection. Remote sensing data is used to identify changes in ice area (historical air photos and satellite imagery), volume (airborne laser altimetry), snow distribution and ice movement (SAR and optical image pairs). Remotely sensed data is augmented and compared with measured surface mass balance, glacier surface velocity (determined using a differential GPS unit), ice cores, ground penetrating radar and weather station data from Penny Ice Cap. Data collected will be used to track historical glacier change and develop a model of the ice cap’s response to climate and sea level rise contribution to 2100. These model outputs will aid the prediction of severe melt-induced flood events in nearby communities such as Pangnirtung.

Nicole has made seven trips to Penny Ice Cap over the last three years. She has also conducted field work on Haig Glacier and Lloyd George Icefield in the southern and northern Canadian Rockies, respectively, through her Master’s work at the University of Calgary. Apart from spending time on glaciers, Nicole enjoys a daily yoga practice, hiking, skiing and canoeing.


M.Sc., Modelling Glacier Surface Temperature Using Weather Station Data and Historical Climate Reconstructions.
Supervisor: Dr. Shawn Marshall
University of Calgary, Calgary, AB

B.Sc. with Honours in Environmental Geology
Queen’s University, Kingston, ON

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