Glaciology Student Work Presented at ICIMOD

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Amrit Thapa presents his thesis progress to ICIMOD experts.

On 8 April 2016, four students in their final year of MS Research in Glaciology shared their thesis progress with cryosphere experts from ICIMOD. The students are enrolled in the MS Research in Glaciology program at Kathmandu University, which is supported by ICIMOD and funded by the Government of Norway.  

The students are working on varied topics of cryosphere science such as modelling glacier hydrology and snowmelt, glacier mass balance and ice thickness. Their research is at an early stage. ICIMOD cryosphere experts provided them guidance on the methodology and data analysis in collaboration with Professor Rijan Kayastha from Kathmandu University. 

Mingma Sherpa presenting her progress on her research on the mass balance of Yala Glacier, Langtang. 

The students said they greatly benefited from the feedback received during the session. “I was comparing modelling results with MODIS eight-day snow product [derived from satellite data],” said Amrit Thapa. "During the feedback session I learned that I can also use MODIS daily snow product to calibrate my model and achieve greater accuracy.” MODIS stands for Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer receiver and acquisition system installed on the premises of ICIMOD. His friend Tenzing Sherpa is researching the glaciers of the Hidden Valley in Mustang, Nepal. "Sharing our work-in-progress with ICIMOD experts provided us the opportunity to gather second opinions on our research methods. It helped me narrow down my research goals,” he said. Two other students were Abhijit Vaidya and Mingma Y. Sherpa. Abhijit said having someone with field experience as a co-supervisor helps to keep the model closer to the actual field conditions. Mingma presented her ongoing research on the mass balance of Yala Glacier, Langtang.  

The MS Research in Glaciology program is coordinated by Dr Rijan Kayastha and co-supervised by cryosphere experts from ICIMOD and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), Norway. 

Three of the students are funded by scholarships provided through the cryosphere initiative of ICIMOD, while one is funded by the CHARIS project. 

A total of twelve students (three female and nine male) have graduated from the course since it began in 2011. Some graduates of the course are employed in relevant sectors in the region while other are doing postgraduate studies.