Dr Rosemary Willatt Awarded the Konrad Steffen Award

In October, Rosemary Willatt was awarded the Konrad Steffen Award at the ESA Polar Science Week conference, for the best e-poster by an early career scientist. She received a scale model of the Sentinel-1 satellite and €1000 towards publication costs.

Professor Konrad Steffen was Director of WSL, the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, and previously director of the University of Colorado’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES.) He was a lead author on the IPCC’s Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate and its Fifth Assessment Report. He died in August 2020, aged 68, while conducting fieldwork on the Greenland ice sheet.

Rosie is a Research Fellow at UCL’s Department of Earth Sciences, in the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) where she is analysing data Ku- and Ka-band ground-based radar data from the MOSAiC expedition. Her research interest is understanding radar interaction with snow cover on sea ice, using ground-based instruments to validate and interpret satellite data. Sea ice plays a key role in climate change, and determining the thickness of sea ice and its snow cover are still challenging due to their remote locations and their physical and electromagnetic characteristics. The MOSAiC Expedition’s data indicate that the polarisation, as well as the frequency, of the radiation, may reveal important information for determining the thicknesses of the snow and ice. The next step is to understand what can be achieved using satellite data which is gathered on much larger scales. Rosie is extremely proud to receive this award for her scientific work, especially having returned to science just over a year ago as a parent of young children, to work in a fantastic team led by Professor Julienne Stroeve – whose advisor was Konrad Steffen.

You can watch the award presentation and learn more about Rosie’s scientific findings here: https://livestream.com/accounts/362/events/9362838.