Kate Swanger

Kate Swanger

Kate Swanger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. While pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at University of Oregon, she became fascinated by ice sheets, sea level and the role of climate change in shaping human history. In 2009, she completed her PhD in Antarctic Geomorphology at Boston University. To date, she has been to Antarctica six times, and spent almost a year of her life in a tent on Earth’s coldest continent. She is most interested in climate fluctuations during the past three million years; her primary research focus is the study of glacial advances and the stability of Antarctic permafrost.

 Dr. Swanger is currently the PI on two major NSF-funded projects studying Pleistocene and Holocene climate change in Antarctica, with $450k in funding to UML. The first project is an investigation of alpine glaciations in the Transantarctic Mountains, with a focus on surface processes, dating techniques and regional climate modeling. The second project, which began in 2014, is a study of the age and origin of buried ice in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. This project couples surface dating techniques with ice coring, stratigraphy and ground-penetrating radar, and has implications for the climatic and hydrologic history of Antarctica’s largest ice-free region.