Information for Prospective Graduate Students

A variety of research on glaciers is possible at Portland State University. In addition to myself (Andrew G. Fountain) we also have Dr. Christina Hulbe whose expertise is the flow modeling of Antarctica.  Between the two of us, we offer a few glacier-related classes and certainly advise graduate students.   Also, several glaciologists live in the Portland metropolitan area including, Dr. Joseph Walder  and Ms. Carolyn Driedger at the U.S Geological Survey Cascade Volcano Observatory.  We also collaborate with USGS scientists at the Oregon Water Science Center here on campus, notably with Dr. Jim O'Connor. 

Classes on snow and ice are increasing with the new hire of Dr. Hulbe. Methods and skills to investigate glaciers must be supplemented  from other classes.  For example, the basics of applying remote sensing to glaciers can be obtained from a class in remote sensing taught in Geography.  

Requirements:  Prospective graduate students must meet the basic requirements of the department to which they apply.  Typically, students apply to either the department of Geology or Geography.  Students who wish to apply to other departments are free to do so but must coordinate with me because it is an unusual arrangement.  In any case, however, a prospective student to contact me first.

For departmental requirements, see Geology, or Geography

I need students who have a background that includes at least one year of physics and two years of calculus.  More the better.  Good writing skills and familiarity with computer programming are essential.  In the past, students without these academic qualifications have struggled and did not complete the required tasks.   Because many of the projects are field based, some skill in repair/maintain/calibrate equipment and coming up with creative solutions to unanticipated problems (MacGyver) are important qualities.

Funding:  Graduate students can be funded by being a Teaching Assistant (TA) for the department or as a Research Assistant (RA) for a professor.  Some students, during their career at PSU, will receive funding from one or both sources.  Both TA and RA positions are limited.  Acceptance for TA  positions are based on the decision of the department.  RA positions are individual to each professor.  I have funding for RA's from a variety of sources but the magnitude and duration of funding varies from year to year.