Invited talk with the Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger at the Digital Summit 2023 by Nora Gourmelon

Explaining my research to the Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger at the Digital Summit 2023 was a great privilege! The Minister impressed me with her eagerness to understand the connections and implications of my research. My research area is green AI, where I am currently focusing on AI-based automation of glacier monitoring.With this automation, it will soon be possible to study the dynamics of glacier calving fronts in the Arctic over the years and during different seasons. This knowledge will help us to better understand the effects of climate change on glaciers. In addition, we will be able to calibrate our glacier and climate models with the extracted front positions and thus further improve them.

by Nora Gourmelon

Copyright photos: AI Grid/Franziska Peters

Allgemein Outreach

Joint field work of MOCCA members Manuel and Felix to install rock temperature loggers at the study site in Kaunertal

Knowledge about permafrost distribution is critical for the assessment of rock mass stability. By installing rock surface temperature loggers we aim to create a model to explore the distribution of permafrost in the Ötztal Alps. Solar incoming radiation and air temperature are the main drivers of permafrost evolution. Therefore we picked diverse locations in height, aspect and slope for installing the loggers.

The field work took place on a wonderful sunny day on 6th of September 2023. We are happy that everything worked out as planned and we returned home from the mountains in a safe way with good new stories on our shoulders.


M³OCCA PhD students participate in field campaign on the Jungfraufirn in Switzerland

In March 2023 two of our M³OCCA PhD students, Lena Krabbe from LHFT/ FAU Erlangen and Akash Patil from BAdW Munich, joined a three-week field test campaign taking place at the Jungfraufirn on the Aletsch glacier in Switzerland. Therein, they were able to collect multiple data sets from different Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) systems, namely a commercial GPR system as well as a GPR sled developed by Lena Krabbe at LHFT.  Field campaigns like this are an essential part of glacier and ice research in order to assess the system performance in the field as well as to check, whether the systems and solutions developed in the lab are also capable of enduring extreme environmental conditions that are present on glaciers. Moreover, the collected data is a great basis for a performance comparison not only between the two surface-based GPR systems, but also for comparing them to further measurement equipment tested during this field campaign. The latter includes a melting probe consisting of a radar, a sonar and a permittivity sensor as well as UAV-based radar and lidar systems. During the field test, two main measurement sites were evaluated, including an area close to the Mönchsjoch as well as the camp site below the Sphinx, which is also close to the glacier entrance. Furthermore, also more remote places where evaluated after being explored and assessed together with a mountain guide. Overall, this field test was a great opportunity to gain experience in applied glacier research and intensify the collaboration inside the M³OCCA doctoral program.



AI Newcomer Award 2023 goes to Nora Gourmelon from FAU’s Pattern Recognition Lab

Nora Gourmelon (Photo: second from right) is honored with the AI Newcomer Award 2023 in the field of natural and life sciences for her research in Green AI, a research field that tackles sustainability-related problems with AI.

In her current work, conducted as part of the International Doctoral Program (IDP) “Measuring and Modeling Mountain glaciers and ice caps in a Changing ClimAte (M³OCCA),” she is developing deep-learning techniques for extracting glacier front positions from satellite imagery.

When asked what the award means to her, Gourmelon responds: “The award helps to raise awareness of how you can also get involved in biodiversity and climate protection as a computer scientist. In addition, I am, of course, also very pleased about the great recognition for my research to date.”

The AI Newcomer Award is granted by the German Association of Computer Science (Gesellschaft für Informatik) to young researchers under 30 years for innovative developments in the area of artificial intelligence.

The award ceremony took place in Berlin on April 26 as part of “KI-Camp 2023,” an event for young AI researchers organized by the German Association of Computer Science and the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung).

The recording of the ceremony will be published here soon.

The award has also attracted the attention of the media and the press!