Susan Kaspari secures funding from the Washington State Water Resources Center, the USGS and the NSF

Response of River Runoff to Black Carbon in Snow and Ice in Washington State is a project funded by the Washington State Water Resources Center and the United States Geological Survey.

Ian Delaney collecting early winter snow samples at Blewett Pass on one of his weekly sampling trips this winter

Susan and her students will be collecting snow and ice core samples from glaciers and the seasonal snow pack in the North Cascades, Olympics, and Mt. Rainier, and measuring the amount of black carbon in the snow and ice. Black carbon is an absorptive particle produced by incomplete combustion of fossil and bio-fuels. When black carbon is deposited on snow and ice surfaces, it can darken the surface and potentially accelerate melt. The goals of this study is to begin to characterize black carbon in the Washington snowpack, and determine if substantial black carbon is present to be affecting melt. This grant will support Ian Delaney's MS research.

Susan also received funding from the National Science Foundation for acquisition of a portable ice core drill. This lightweight drill (20 kg) will enable Susan to collect shallow (20 m) ice cores for climate studies that focus on recent changes to glaciers and the chemistry of the atmosphere, and for reconnaissance studies that will identify potential deep ice core drilling sites. The drill is manufactured in Switzerland ( Susan will be returning to Switzerland in March to receive training in its operation.