Shad O'Neel, Ph.D.


Areas of Specialization and/or Research Interests

Glacier-climate interactions and sea level rise: Melting of glaciers and ice-sheets provides the largest eustatic contribution to global sea level rise. Terrestrial glaciers respond to temperature changes, but nonlinear dynamic processes at marine-terminating glaciers are important, yet poorly constrained. Such dynamic instabilities allow rapid flow and even faster iceberg calving, complicating estimates of sea level contributions.

Small glaciers: The world's glaciers and ice caps, not the great ice sheets, are changing most rapidly and will have the largest and most immediate impact on Earth's population.

Glacier-generated seismicity: Information pertaining to both flow and calving are stored in the seismograms produced by glaciers, yet these signals are poorly understood. Automatic event detection and time-series development, analysis of site and path effects, frequency-magnitude distributions are underway and serve to clarify the source physics of iceberg calving.

Photogrammetry: Dynamical information can be extracted from images acquired from spaceborne, airborne and terrestrial photography. Time-lapse sequences provide robust time series of change, and I am working on automatic processing algorithms to streamline data acquisition.

Education and/or Training

Ph.D.    2006   Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Geophysics
M.S.      2000   Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geophysics
B.A.      1997   University of Montana, Environmental Geology

Professional Experience

2008 - present  Research Geophysicist    USGS, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, AK
2007 - 2008      Postdoctoral Scholar,      Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
2007 - 2008      Geophysical Institute,     University of Alaska Fairbanks
2007                  Lecturer                          University of Colorado Boulder, graduate level glaciology
2001 - 2003      Geodetic Engineer           UNAVCO in Boulder, CO; Assisted NSF research projects with GPS deployment and data processing as a Glacier GPS specialist

Professional Activities and/or Memberships

Affiliate of University of Colorado Boulder's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR)
Affiliate of Univeristy of Alaska Fairbanks, Department of Geology and Geophysics
American Geophysical Union, Cryosphere Focus Group Executive Committee
PASSCAL (Program for Array Seismic Studies of the Continental Lithosphere) Standing Committee
International Glaciological Society

Websites of Interest

Featured Data Releases

McNeil, C. J., Sass, L. C., Florentine, C. E., Baker, E. H., Peitzsch, E. H., Whorton, E. N., Miller, Z. S., Fagre, D. B., Clark, A. M. and O'Neel, S. R., 2016, Glacier-Wide Mass Balance and Compiled Data Inputs: USGS Benchmark Glaciers (ver. 3.0, July 2019): U.S. Geological Survey data release,