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Albedo Spatial Variability and Causes on the Western Greenland Ice Sheet Percolation Zone - Goetz Program Report

May 25, 2017

By Gabriel Lewis, PhD candidate, Department of Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire (US).

Image from GreenTrACS Video (

The stability of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in a warming world is a critical research area with societally important implications for future sea level rise, with projected GrIS sea level contributions of at least 20 cm by 21001,2. Previous studies conclude that GrIS mass loss has been accelerating over the past decade, but spatial and temporal variations in GrIS mass balance remain poorly understood due to a complex relationship among precipitation and temperature changes, surface melt, runoff, ice discharge3, and surface albedo4. Satellite measurements indicate that albedo, the proportion of incoming solar radiation that is reflected by the glacier surface, has been declining over the past decade5,6, but the cause of the GrIS albedo change remains poorly constrained by field data. As fresh snow (albedo > 0.85)7 warms and melts, its albedo decreases due to snow grain growth, promoting solar absorption, higher snowpack temperatures and further melt8. However, dark impurities like soot and dust can also significantly reduce snow albedo, even in the dry snow zone2.

High throughput precision phenotyping (HTPP) in durum wheat: physiological basis and tools for selection - Goetz Program Report

May 25, 2016

By Omar Vergara Diaz, PhD candidate; Dr. Shawn Carlisle Kefauver, post-doctoral researcher; Dr. Jose Luis Araus, professor. Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Spain.

A FieldSpec 4 equipment was kindly provided by ASD Alexander Goetz Instrument Program and it was intended for supporting our studies of the ecophysiological and agronomic characterisation of durum wheat in field conditions. The general objective of our research is to develop high-throughput phenotyping techniques and to deepen the physiological and molecular basis involved in the adaptive response of durum wheat across a wide range of environmental conditions.

For this aim, a panel of 24 semi-dwarf genotypes (post- Green Revolution) of durum wheat marketed in Spain over the past four decades are used as a retrospective study. The panel was cultivated under conditions of rainfed and supplemental irrigation at two field stations in Colmenar de Oreja (Madrid) belonging to the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA) of Spain, in Zamadueñas (Valladolid) belonging to the Castilla y León Institute of Technology and Agriculture (ITACyL) and in rainfed conditions in Coria del Río (Seville) also belonging to INIA. Thus a wide range of latitudes was covered from northern to southern Spain.

Studying Mars mineralogy with an ASD FieldSpec - on Earth

April 20, 2016

By Dr. Jessica Flahaut (Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon, France), Dr. Janice Bishop (SETI Institute, California), Mélissa Martinot (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Nicci Potts (the Open University, United Kingdom and 2015 Goetz Program awardee), Dr. Simone Silvestro (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy) and collaborators G.R. Davies, D. Tedesco, I. Daniel and C. Quantin (see references).

This project was funded by a NWO (Netherlands Science Organization) VENI fellowship attributed to Dr. Jessica Flahaut. Dr. Janice Bishop is grateful for support from the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

The identification and characterization of hydrated minerals, within ancient aqueous environments on Mars, are a high priority for determining the past habitability of the red planet. Few studies, however, have focused on characterizing entire mineral assemblages as this is often difficult to determine from remote sensing data, even though this could aide our understanding of past environments. This is especially true for the sulfate-rich deposits, which are thought to mark a transition to more acidic conditions at the Martian surface about 3.5 Ga. This transition would coincide with a period of global climate change. As a result, quantitative constraints on Martian habitability during the ‘Mars global change’ era remain poor.

Introducing the 2016 Goetz Program participants

February 25, 2016

In recognition of the long-standing contribution of ASD co-founder to the field of remote sensing, the annual Goetz Instrument Support Program was established to further encourage a creative research environment within the Remote Sensing and Field Spectroscopy world-wide community. The intent is to provide a simple mechanism for supporting small research efforts which can quickly establish concept viability, or rule out further consideration, by providing temporary use of a field spectroradiometer, which might otherwise be difficult to obtain.

The Girls on Ice Program learns about spectroscopy: Gulkana Glacier, Alaska

October 27, 2015

Former Goetz Instrument Support Program participant Ulyana N. Horodyskyj, Ph.D. Research Associate, National Snow and Ice Data Center, provides us with this recap from her recent trip to Alaska where she worked with the Girls on Ice program.

In need of support for your academic research?

October 06, 2015

Are you a Master's or Ph.D. student planning to complete research that would benefit from the use of an ASD FieldSpec 4, HandHeld 2 or a QualitySpec Trek spectrometer? Hurry and submit your proposal. The deadline for Goetz Program submissions is October 15.

Students with the most groundbreaking research proposals will receive a

Evaluation of neural network classifier with VNIR spectroscopy for early detection of CCCVd in oil palm - a Goetz student's summary

September 22, 2015

Kamlesh Golhani, a recipient of the Alexander Goetz Instrument Support Program award earlier this year, recently published the preliminary results he obtained using a HandHeld 2 spectroradiometer for the early detection of CCCVd in oil palm. This summary also included assistance from Siva K Balasundram, Ganesan Vadamalai, and Biswajeet Pradhan.

Calling all graduate students! Apply to borrow an ASD spectrometer

May 13, 2015

Are you a Master's or Ph.D. student planning to complete research that would benefit from the use of a FieldSpec or a TerraSpec? 

Announcing the Goetz Instrument Program award recipients for 2015

February 04, 2015

Nine projects were selected from a pool of applicants that reflect the scientific diversity and innovation the Goetz Program has fostered since its inception.

Determining Postmortem Interval Using VNIR Spectroscopy on Human Cortical Bone

January 15, 2015

Guest blogger, and 2014 Goetz Instrument Support Program participant, John A. Servello of the University of North Texas, details his use of a LabSpec 4 benchtop analyzer with a bifurcated reflectance fiber optic contact probe to determine if NIR spectroscopy can be used to provide a postmortem interval range for human skeletal remains.

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