Distinguished Research Professor, Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University
Ross Powell is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences at Northern Illinois University where he has been teaching and researching for 27 years. His main research interests focus on processes where glaciers and ice sheets enter the sea, and in interpreting the sedimentary records indicating how and why glaciers move into and out of the sea at the present and during past climatic warming and cooling cycles. He has 34 years of research experience in high latitude regions including Alaska, Svalbard (Norway), the Canadian Arctic, Antarctica and Chile. Ross has helped lead a new international geological drilling initiative in Antarctica supported in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF), where scientists study geological climate records buried beneath the frozen sea to help predict possible future behavior of the Antarctic ice sheet in response to current global warming.
As part of another project supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and operated through NIU's Analytical Center for Climate and Environmental Change (ACCEC), he is building a robotic submarine for exploring the unknown environments under floating ice shelves in Antarctica, to study the effects of climate change and warming ocean waters beneath them. As a participating scientist in the only NSF-supported Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in the Arctic (on Svalbard), Ross is also fostering development of young scientists and teaching them about polar global warming.
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