David Shean is an assistant professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington. His research involves the development and application of new methods to study dynamic Earth system components with real-world implications for water resources, sea level rise, and natural hazards. His current research uses satellite, airborne, UAV, and terrestrial remote sensing observations to understand the Earth’s cryosphere, with focus on mountain glaciers, seasonal snow, and ice sheets. Much of this work requires modern data science approaches and high-performance computing to answer questions that cannot be addressed using traditional approaches.
David’s early research involved documenting past glaciation and evidence for climate change on Mars. He went on to work for Yellowstone National Park, where he studied dynamic hydrothermal features, and then Boston University, where he performed geophysical surveys of glaciers in the Transantarctic Mountains. From 2007-2011, David worked for Malin Space Science Systems as a member of the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera (CTX) and Mars Color Imager (MARCI) science operations team. His PhD research at the University of Washington documented the evolution of ice-shelf basal melt and ice-stream dynamics in West Antarctica to better understand future ice-sheet stability.
Ph.D. in Earth and Space Sciences, 2016
University of Washington
Sc.M. in Geology, 2006
Sc.B. in Geology-Physics/Mathematics, 2004
I currently have openings for postdocs and PhD students to join our growing research group. Please review current projects and contact me directly to discuss opportunities. Click here for details…
Our research group continues to grow. Here is a brief introduction, until our group website is launched.
During June 2019, the UW hosted a hackweek focused on ICESat-2 data discovery, processing and analysis. Final tutorials from the event are now available.
Geodetic glacier mass balance on a regional to continental scale using high-resolution DEMs
Understanding ice-ocean interaction and ocean-induced basal melting beneath vulnerable ice shelves
Using high-resolution DEM/velocity time series to understand outlet glacier behavior
High-resolution elevation and image data from multi-view stereo photographs
Ground-based radar capable of resolving mm-scale surface displacements
A selection of recorded/documented talks in recent years:
I teach the following courses in the UW Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering:
Students can check the UW time schedule for updates.
I’m a big proponent of free and open-source software.
Much of my code (including this website) is publicly available on github.
I use the following on a daily basis: