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EECS Student Chosen to Participate in Capitol Graduate Research Summit

March 24, 2010

William Blake, a doctoral student in EECS, was among 13 University of Kansas graduate students who presented their research today at the seventh annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit in Topeka. Students discussed their research with state officials and members of the public and how their work benefits Kansas.

Blake highlighted his research with the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center (STC) based at KU. Blake was among the CReSIS researchers who performed extensive field work over Antarctica this past fall. EECS Professor Christopher Allen led a team that measured characteristics of the polar ice sheets and sea ice.The data will help predict how the ice sheets will respond to climate change, especially how they might contribute to sea-level rise.

To create fine resolution 3-D images of the base of the ice sheets, Blake used a technique called Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).  InSAR works similar to that of human eyes. Eache eye sees a unique 2D image. Since the eyes are slightly offset, they then perceive a third dimension (depth). The radar system can "see" up to two miles of ice. This allows scientists to create more realistic models of the ice sheets and predict their dynamic response to climate change. At the Summit, Blake presented “InSAR for 3-D Ice Sheet Basal Imaging.” 
The Capitol Graduate Research Summit is organized through collaborative efforts among KU, Kansas State University and Wichita State University. In addition to the KU students, Kansas State and WSU each had 10 students participating in the event.

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