Meet Joshua Carmichael
I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) at the University of Washington in Seattle studying geophysics. I am advised by Ian Joughin from APL’s Polar Science Center, and Erin Pettit with the University of Fairbanks, Alaska. I am principally involved in two projects, each involving the physical interaction of ice and water in polar environments. A common theme in my research is the interpretation of passively recorded seismic signals to characterize sources of glacial motion.
Sliding of the Western Greenland Ice Sheet (Advisor Ian Joughin)
My current research primarily concerns the transient basal response of ice sheets and glaciers to hydraulic forcing from meltwater input. Specifically, my efforts are devoted to understanding how large volumes of water that are injected into the subglacial drainage system induce observable changes in both sliding speed and basal drag. I approach this problem by supplementing multi-scale synoptic observations from the Western Greenland ice sheet with physical modeling of the bed and water interaction.
Seismicity Taylor Glacier (Advisor Erin Pettit)
To assess the sensitivity of glaciers to very controlled melt water input, I am using seismic and meteorological data gathered over 3 years to determine any seasonality of calving rates and possible basal sliding of Taylor Glacier, a land terminating polar glacier in the Dry Valleys. The dry environment, isolation of the subglacial hydraulic system and small size of Taylor constitute a natural control for more dynamic glacial conditions. My continuing work with Taylor is devoted to the application of vector space projections to characterize waveforms clusters indigenous to calving locations and basal stick-slip sites.
Background and Education
I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washington State University in May 2004 with a B.S. in physics. My focus as an undergraduate was in shock wave propagation in novel alloys at the Institute for Shock Physics. I spent my first year at UW in the Applied Mathematics department where I obtained a Masters degree. In 2005 I entered the Geophysics program, where I have worked on several seismic field experiments, including the CAFÉ experiment, and the Ice Cliffs project in the Dry Valleys.
Aside from science, I enjoy spending time with my wife, outdoor recreation, and the seeing local punk rock shows.