The Atmospheric Sciences group studies the physical, chemical and dynamical processes
of the atmosphere from the unique vantage point of the polar region. The group strives to understand
the polar atmosphere and its role within the Earth system. Many topics bear directly on societal issues
related to climate variability and change.
The Space Physics & Aeronomy research group studies Earth's
which extends from the surface of the sun to Earth's atmosphere. The group uses ground-based observations of magnetic fluctuations, infrasound, light from
auroral emissions, and radio signals reflected from ionospheric irregularities.
The Snow, Ice & Permafrost research group seeks to understand the properties of Earth's
icy regions, known as the cryosphere, and the physical processes that occur within them.
Scientists study the role of snow, ice and permafrost in shaping the landscape, and the
changes that occur as the Arctic climate warms.
The Seismology group conducts research and monitors Alaska's earthquakes and tsunamis. The group
includes the State Seismology Lab. Alaska lies in a tectonically complex region bounded by a major
subduction zone. The group carries out high-resolution seismic recordings and studies the motion
and configuration of tectonic plates.
The Tectonics & Sedimentation research group strives to reconstruct the processes of Earth's
history over a variety of timescales. Alaska and the adjacent regions of the circumpolar north
provide a rich environment for such research. The Pacific North American and Eurasian plates
meet in Alaska, creating a natural laboratory for research in this area.
The Remote Sensing group uses satellite and airborne data to solve Earth science issues that
require spatial observation over various timescales. The group studies volcanic eruptions, sea
ice, hydrology, snow, glaciers, crustal deformation, geology and impact craters on Earth and
Alaska is the nation's most volcanically active state, with eruptions of broad impact. The Volcanology
group studies volcanoes and eruptions using remote sensing, infrasound, chemical analyses,
and special instrumentation. The group also studies volcanoes throughout the world and maintains
active collaborations with Alaska Volcano Observatory partners and with other universities worldwide.