Cryosphere Initiative staff news

“Working on the glaciers of the Himalaya has been a unique experience for me. I joined ICIMOD in the aftermath of April 2015 earthquake and as such, was involved in replacing automatic weather stations in Langtang Valley that the earthquake destroyed. My main task, though, was setting up the Snow Accumulation and Melt Process Project in Langtang Valley.” 

Maxime Litt (PhD) left ICIMOD to work on his post-doctoral research at Utrecht University in the Netherlands where he will be working on the same research project and continue collaboration with ICIMOD. Litt joined ICIMOD in July 2015 as glacio-hydrologist for the Cryosphere Initiative under the Water and Air theme.

We extend our warmest welcome to James Kirkham who joined ICIMOD in July 2017 as a visiting researcher with ICIMOD’s Cryosphere Initiative. Kirkham completed his Master’s degree at the University of Cambridge where his research focused on reconstructing former water flow beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet using marine geophysical techniques. At ICIMOD, Kirkham’s research attempts to better understand the process of snowpack densification in the Himalaya, data which informs the storage and runoff of water contained in seasonal snowfall - using a novel high‑resolution dataset obtained from the SnowAMP project in Langtang Valley.   Kirkham hopes to create an empirical model for snowpack densification in the Himalaya which can be used to constrain the deposition period and densification chronology of snow layers on glaciers in the Langtang Valley. 

Pradeep Kumar Mool, Programme coordinator for the Cryosphere Initiative retired on 30 September after 21 years of service with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD0. He is a trained geologist and geomorphologist with vast experienced in natural hazard and environmental management. Mr Mool joined ICIMOD as a remote sensing specialist in 1995, prior to taking his position with ICIMOD, Mr Mool worked with various government agencies related to water resources management, and water related hazard and geology. Throughout his 37-year career he remained committed to bringing more attention to the cryosphere in the HKH region and building a valuable knowledge base. Mr Mool leaves behind a legacy that is of great value in promoting and advocating environmental Hindu Kush Himalayas.  <<READ MORE>>

New Initiative coordinator

We are pleased to welcome Anna Sinisalo as the new acting initiative coordinator from 1 October 2016. Dr Sinisalo joined ICIMOD in August 2015 as a glaciologist in the Cryosphere Initiative under the Water and Air theme. Before moving to Nepal, Dr Sinisalo worked at the University of Oslo, Norway. She has vast experience in managing and coordinating research training programmes. She managed a graduate school of the Nordic Centre of Excellence, SVALI ( and more recently co-led an eScience training and education work package in another Nordic Center of Excellence, eSTICC (

Research Associate

Amrit Thapa joined as a research associate to the Cryosphere Initiative under the Geospatial theme.  Amrit will be attached to Cryosphere Monitoring Programme- Bhutan (CMP-B). Before joining ICIMOD, Amrit worked as a research fellow at the Himalayan Cryosphere, Climate and Disaster research Center (HICCDRC) in Kathmandu. Amrit has a master’s degree in environmental science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India and a master’s of science by research in glaciology from Kathmandu University.  


Joseph Micheal Shea, Senior Glacio-Hydrologist moved back to Canada after working with ICIMOD for four years. Dr Shea joined ICIMOD in August 2012 as a glacier hydrologist for the Cryosphere Monitoring Project. Before joining ICIMOD, Dr Shea conducted post-doctoral research on the retrieval of glacier snowlines from remotely sensed imagery, on micro-meteorological investigations on alpine glaciers, and on assisting flood forecasting efforts with near real-time snow cover analyses. 

Research Associate Sonam Futi Sherpa left in August 2016 to further her studies. She is working on her master’s in science at Arizona State University, USA. Prior to her work as a  full time research associate glaciologist, Ms Sherpa started as an intern in January 2015 under visiting scientist Dr Patrick Wagnon from L’Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). 

Patrick Wagnon, from Institut de Recherche pour le Dévelopement, France has been with ICIMOD working as visiting scientist in the field of glaciology and completed his four years as the visiting scientist in August. Dr Wagnon has been associated with Himalayan glaciers since 2002, when he developed a research programme in India, and in 2007, he worked with local institutions in Nepal to survey Himalayan glaciers where field data such as mass balance over a long term, or energy balance were strongly missing. Besides his regular work, he also supervised number of glaciology students from Kathmandu University.