Allgemein Event

Workshop on ‘How to give a good talk’

We organized a one-day workshop on ‘How to give a good talk’.

The workshop covered various topics from Stage fright over Body Language to Humor in talks. The participants benefited a lot from the intensive feedback they received from their colleagues and the trainer.

Thank you again, Nae, for the great workshop!


Fieldwork at Aletsch Glacier Part 2 (May 2024)

As a continuation of the expedition to the Aletsch Glacier in winter 2024, a group of researchers conducted a second expedition in May as part of the M3OCCA program. The group aimed to gather GPR CMP data at three different locations of the accumulation area of the Aletsch Glacier. Snow pits were dug near CMP locations to obtain a density-depth profile at the upper few meters of snow to get the density profile between the visits in March and May 2024. The GPR CMP method provides vital information regarding the Electromagnetic (EM) wave velocity-depth within the firn body of the glacier. The density of the firn body is a function of the EM wave velocity; the obtained density-depth profile aids in the detection and estimation of annual firn layers to study the firn densification rate. This information assists in estimating the mean glacier mass balance by considering the firn density rather than assuming a constant density value for the entire glacier.

This expedition was part of the M3OCCA doctoral program project 2.3 (Improved Glacier volume to mass conversion), and the efforts of Dr. Christoph Mayer and Dr. Astrid Lambrecht from BAdW Munich, Akash Patil (M3OCCA PhD at BAdW Munich), and Manuel Saigger (M3OCCA PhD at the Institute of Geography FAU Erlangen) are much appreciated.


Fieldwork at Aletsch Glacier February/March 2024

At the end of February, a large field campaign with various measurement instruments from different research groups took place at the Aletsch Glacier. The group consisted of scientists and technicians from FAU Erlangen, different DLR institutes (HR, OS, DFD), Technical University Munich, Bavarian Academy of Sciences, the institute for snow and avalanche research (SLF), Ulm University and ETH Zürich. The campaign involved in-situ density and permittivity measurements, surface- and UAV-based ground penetrating radar (GPR) measurements, airborne acquisitions for tomography and SAR applications, bistatic radar measurements with the KAPRI system, and first tests with an optical localization system. The observed test sites were distributed over the glacier, reaching from the Jungfraufirn to the Mönchsjochplateau and further to the Ewigschneefeld. The surface-based GPR platform (top picture) developed in subproject 1.1 by our PhD student Lena Krabbe was tested in rough environmental conditions for the application of subsurface imaging of glacier stratification.

Within subproject 2.3, GPR was used to collect data illustrating the spatial distribution of the firn body. GPR transects across different parts of the accumulation area of the Aletsch Glacier were obtained by our PhD student Akash Patil, along with direct measurements using glaciological methods like snow pits and firn cores at some locations near the GPR transects. Isotope samples were also taken from the snow pit and firn cores to determine possible annual layers and their corresponding depths. This helps in understanding the regional variability of density distribution and glacier-climate interaction on a regional scale to determine and validate density assumptions that aid in estimating the mean glacier mass balance.

Many thanks to Dr. Thorsten Seehaus and Dr. Alexander Gross from the Institute of Geography FAU Erlangen, Michael Stelzig from LHFT, FAU Erlangen, and M3OCCA PhDs Patricia Schlenk (DLR, Munich) and Felix Pfluger (TUM, Munich) for their assistance during this expedition.



Basic Glacier Safety Workshop

The next fieldwork season is coming! Several M3OCCA members will already join a large field campaign at Aletsch-Glacier in February/March 2024. Thus, a self-organized workshop on basic glacier safety was carried out in Erlangen. After repeating some theoretical background, the focus was set on hands-on exercises. Everyone got the chance to get first knowledge or to re-fresh the knowledge in topics like crevasse rescue, self-rescue, repelling…

Special Thanks to Manuel Saigger, who led the workshop.


Annual workshop of the doctoral programme M3OCCA in Obergurgl

The annual workshop of the International Doctoral College M3OCCA took place this year in September at the University Centre in Obergurgel. The doctoral students presented the current status of their research projects and gave an outlook on upcoming activities. In addition to the report colloquium and organisational discussions, there were topic-specific guest lectures by Prof. Dr. Francisco Navarro (UPM, Madrid), Prof. Dr. Helmut Rott (Uni. Innsbruck & ENVEO), and Dr. Wolfgang Gurgiser (Uni. Innsbruck). The workshop was followed by a two-day excursion to the Vernagtferner. Dr Christoph Meyer from the Bavarian Academy of Science explained to the participants the diverse glacier monitoring programme, which has been carried out for more than 50 years.


M3OCCA PhD candidates visited DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen

Members of the M3OCCA project visited the facilities of DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen on the 5th. July 2023.

During the visit, the project partners and M3OCCA members gave an overview of the activities at DLR including a guided tour of the Techlab.

Impressive was in particular the visit of the German Space Operations Centre (GSOC), where different space missions and the Columbus Module of the International Space Station are monitored and controlled.


Invited talk by Susanne Støle-Hentschel 31.07.2023

Title: How can we understand the dynamics of ocean waves from measurements and simulations?

The presentation introduces some of the core techniques used for measuring ocean waves and outlines why it is difficult to interpret those measurements.
The main focus of the talk will be dedicated to explaining the imaging mechanism of X-band radars. The talk will include a brief overview to freak waves in sea states where multiple wave systems meet.

Susanne is a PostDoc in the ERC project HIGHWAVE at Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) Paris-Saclay. She has achieved her Master’s and PhD at the University of Oslo, Norway. With a background in applied maths and fluid mechanics, Susanne has worked with a number of different applications, ranging from biomedical flows to ocean waves. In recent years she has pursued the study of ocean waves by combining numerical simulations and measurements. One of her focus areas is the interpretation of radar measurements of the ocean surface. Extracting wave information from radar images requires combining signal processing and an understanding of the imaging mechanism.


Invited talk on „Keeping track of change – Monitoring Antarctic calving front dynamics with earth observation and deep learning“

The Institute of Geography at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg will host an invited talk by Dr. Celia Baumhoer (DLR/DFG Oberpfaffenhofen).

When: Wednesday, 14.06.2023, 12:30-14:00

Where: Seminar room, Wetterkreuz 15, 91058 Erlangen


The Antarctic coastline is constantly changing. Three-quarters of the coastline are fringed by ice shelves, the floating extensions of the Antarctic ice sheet. The retreat or disintegration of ice shelves with buttressing forces cause enhanced mass loss of the Antarctic ice sheet increasing global sea level rise.  Continuously tracking ice shelves is challenging because manual mapping cannot keep up with growing satellite archives and automated approaches fail due to the complexity of the Antarctic coastline. Recent advances in deep learning and easy access to high performance computing facilitated a fully-automated framework able to regularly monitor Antarctic ice shelf front dynamics. This presentation explores the unprecedented dense time series of calving front change providing new insights into ice shelf front dynamics and establishes links to ice dynamical and environmental controls on ice shelf extents.


Invited talk on “Deep-learning-driven estimation of global glacier thickness”

The Institute of Geography at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg will host an invited talk by Dr. Samuel Cook (Univ. Lausanne).

When: Wednesday, 17.05.2023, 12:30-14:00

Where: Seminar room, Wetterkreuz 15, 91058 Erlangen


I present my ongoing work using the emulator from the Instructed Glacier Model (IGM) (https://github.com/jouvetg/igm) to invert for ice thickness at the 200,000 glaciers in the world outside the polar ice sheets. The basis of the emulator is a convolutional neural network trained on the outputs of full-Stokes simulations of real glaciers. Provided with surface velocities – taken from the new global dataset compiled by Millan et al. (2022) – and surface DEMs, this emulator can invert for thickness at any glacier in the world with a comparable accuracy to traditional full-Stokes inversion, but at a fraction of the computational cost. This allows us to greatly improve our estimates of global glacier volume, vital both for prediction of sea-level rise, but also for local communities in mountainous areas, who often rely on glacier melt for a large proportion of their water resources. I will discuss the rationale and methods behind my work, as well as preliminary results and the problems I’m currently working on.