Project Info

Glaciers in the South: a study of glacier science outreach throughout the Southern U.S.

Dr. Matthew Siegfried
Dr. Elizabeth Reddy

Project Goals and Description:

Glaciers in the South is the first initiative of its kind that aims to make glacier education more accessible throughout the southern U.S. by developing educational materials, community-centric scientific outreach initiatives, and a regional network of cryospheric scientists throughout the southern United States. This IMURF project goals in the Fall and Spring semesters of funding are as follows: In Fall 2022, the IMURF project will focus on becoming familiar with the fields of glaciology (the science community, fundamental glacier science topics, and glaciology-related outreach) and science communication (communicating scientific concepts effectively; responsible outreach and its role in hazard mitigation). The IMURF student will develop glaciology-related science communication and outreach materials for the Glaciers in the South website that implements the topics learned throughout the semester in the forms of science journalism, art, presentations, and/or blog-style posts. In Spring 2023, the IMURF project will shift to an emphasis on characterizing the state of outreach and science communication activity surrounding glacier science in the South. The student will investigate what role science communication and outreach may play in natural hazard mitigation related to changing glaciers, producing a scientific poster for the Natural Hazards Workshop. In addition, the student’s work will contribute to a publication about the state of glacier science outreach efforts and its impacts throughout the South.
Practically every effort within this project will require an interdisciplinary approach. The student will collaborate with the GP and EDS mentors on adapting concepts relating to glacier dynamics and impacts to be communicated more effectively to non-expert communities. We will have opportunities to engage in discussions with scientists throughout the Southern region about their experiences communicating with their community about hazards posed by globally changing glaciers. The IMURF undergraduate research will work under the mentorship of Ph.D. student Hannah Verboncoeur, with faculty mentors from the Geophysics (Dr. Matthew Siegfried) and EDS (Dr. Elizabeth Reddy) departments providing input, fostering discussions, and suggesting educational readings to aid in understanding responsible scientific outreach and geophysical concepts more holistically. Efforts in preparing the scientific poster for the Natural Hazards Workshop and guidance pertaining to publication contributions by the IMURF student at the conclusion of the project will be directed by EDS mentor Elizabeth Reddy and supplemented by GP mentors Hannah Verboncoeur and Matthew Siegfried.

More Information:

Grand Challenge: Restore and improve urban infrastructure. is the website you will be contributing to under the ‘Posts, Stories, and Resources’ tab during Fall 2022. The website also lists more information about the mission and goals of our project. Any other questions can be directed to Ph.D. student Hannah Verboncoeur at

Primary Contacts:

Hannah Verboncoeur,| Dr. Matthew Siegfried,| Dr. Elizabeth Reddy,|

Student Preparation


Students are not expected to have a significant background in glaciers, climate science, responsible outreach, or developing science communication materials. However, a willingness to learn about these themes, participate in conversations about them, and excitement to engage with them in a creative and scientific space is necessary. This project is likely best-suited for creative individuals and those who enjoy writing and themes pertaining to science communication. Although students from any study area are encouraged to apply, students with connections in Humanitarian Engineering or the McBride Honors Program may find this research particularly interesting.




The student will gain knowledge regarding proper research practices in the field of communication, developing science communication materials (which may be applied to their own fields down the line), conducting outreach responsibly to different communities, and how changing climate may impact community hazards across the world. Additionally, the student will leave the research experience with a deep understanding of the state of glacier and climate science today, recent discoveries, scientific networking, and basic foundational knowledge of glacier science. Following the research experience, the IMURF student will have the chance to present a scientific poster at the Natural Hazards Workshop and be included as an author in a publication related to glacier science communication in the South.


The primary IMURF mentor will be graduate student Hannah Verboncoeur. Hannah will meet weekly with the IMURF student, during which they will collaboratively set goals,  discuss unresolved questions, develop training on creating science communication materials ready for the website, and cover background information on glacier science when needed. Hannah will also be in charge of assigning tasks to the undergraduate researcher, providing scientific materials, and reviewing the products of those tasks. Faculty mentors Dr. Matthew Siegfried and Dr. Elizabeth Reddy will meet at least monthly as an IMURF team, where they will provide additional context within the fields of glaciology, hazard mitigation, and responsible outreach. They will provide relevant reading materials when they arise in these fields, foster educational discussions periodically with the team, and offer guidance for the poster and publication stages of the project. All mentors will help implement suggestions brought up by the IMURF researcher pertaining to the project. The IMURF student will also have the opportunity to join weekly Mines Glaciology Laboratory scientific and professional development discussions.

Preferred Student Status

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