PAOC Colloquium: Brent Minchew (MIT)
About the Speaker
Brent Minchew is a geophysicist working to understand the interactions between climate, the cryosphere, and the solid Earth. He uses a combination of geodetic observations—primarily interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR)—and physical models to study dynamical systems and their various responses to environmental forcing.
The bulk of Minchew’s research focuses on the dynamics of extant glaciers, with an emphasis on the mechanics of glacier beds, ice-ocean interactions, and ice rheology. By modulating ice flow and directly influencing glacier erosion rates, these factors play critical roles in glacier and ice sheet evolution, the dynamic response of glaciers to climate change, and the impact of glaciers on landform evolution and the global carbon cycle over human to geological timescales.
Minchew’s preferred approach to understanding complex systems is to focus on short-timescale (hourly to sub-decadal) variations in the dynamics of large-scale systems in response to known forcings. Examples of this work include spatiotemporal observations and models of the dynamic response of glaciers to surface meltwater flux, ocean tidal forcing, and ice shelf thinning.
About this Series
The PAOC Colloquium is a weekly interdisciplinary seminar series that brings together the whole PAOC community. Seminar topics include all research concerning the physics, chemistry, and biology of the atmospheres, oceans and climate, but also talks about e.g. societal impacts of climatic processes. The seminars generally take place on Monday from 12-1pm. Lunch is provided to encourage students and post-docs to meet with the speaker. Besides the seminar and lunch, individual meetings with professors, post-docs, and students are arranged.