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Theoretical training

Glacier mass balance modelling using R


Virtual (Microsoft Teams)

Date & Time

14 December 2020 to 22 December 2020


Amrit Thapa & Abhijit Vaidya

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Glacier mass balance modelling using R



The Hindu Kush Himalayan Cryosphere Monitoring Programme (HKH–CMP) implemented by our Cryosphere Initiative is organizing a five-day theoretical training on “Glacier mass balance modelling using R”. The training will cover data visualization and spatial data analysis as well as the basics of the R software. Participants will be guided through simulations of initializing and running a glacier mass balance model on debris-free glaciers. The training will be conducted with a combination of theoretical presentations and demonstrations complemented by hands-on exercises.

The Cryosphere Initiative is collaborating closely with national partners in the HKH region, contributing to the development and maintenance of cryosphere monitoring programmes and providing technical support. This training is being organized to strengthen the data analysis skills of collaborating partners and individuals.

Participation is based on direct invitation – to researchers and scientists affiliated with our cryosphere partners in the HKH as well as on an open call – a quarter of the participants will be chosen based on their responses to this call. This workshop is aimed at those who have prior experience in using R, although participants familiar with Python, Matlab, and similar coding software will also be considered.

The HKH–CMP is a regional initiative that aims to enhance and expand current knowledge and understanding of the HKH cryosphere. Our activities are funded by the Government of Norway.

Why R?

ICIMOD promotes open-source software, standardized methodologies, and regional collaboration and cooperation. R is a free, open-access boasting a global community of millions of active users. Users can access thousands of statistical, mathematical, and graphical functions, and there are extensive online manuals and forums to help troubleshoot R-related problems.

The software allows for the generation of high-quality graphics that can be used in academic/scientific reports. R scripts are easily automated and compatible with any system (Windows, Linux, and Mac), making them suitable to the promotion of reproducible research. Overall, R is a well-developed, simple, flexible, and effective programming language.

Training resources

Before the training commences, all participants are requested to download and install R (from www.cran.r-project.org) and R Studio (from www.rstudio.com) onto their devices. A detailed list – of the packages required for the training – will be sent to the participants before the training. We will also be providing online assistance for these installations.

Important dates

2 December 2020: Application deadline

4 December 2020: Microsoft Teams teams interviews of shortlisted applicants

5 December 2020: Announcement of selected participants


Graduate students or full-time early career scientists from research institutes in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, or Pakistan, who are involved in glaciological research.


Applicants should be involved in or have plans to start glaciological research. They should have a background in glaciology, or related fields such as environmental science, geography, geology, or climate science. To participate in the virtual training, applicants should have basic experience in using R. We strongly encourage women to apply.

Please fill out the form on the following link:

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