Madison Smith

Research Assistant



I study changes in surface waves in Polar oceans to understand the effects on future sea ice

Rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic has been one of the most visual harbingers of the effects of global warming, while sea ice expansion in the Antarctic has defied scientist’s expectations for years. Interactions of surface waves with sea ice, and possible associated feedbacks, are poorly understood and not well parametrized in models. As a PhD student with Jim Thomson in the Applied Physics Lab, I have been working to understand waves and wave-driven processes in the emerging Arctic Ocean and the Antarctic Ross Sea. I have been involved in the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) and Sea State projects, funded by the Office of Naval Research, and the Polynyas and Ice Production and Seasonal Evolution in the Ross Sea (PIPERS) project, funded by NSF. I received the Valle Scholarship for graduate study in the Hydrology and Hydrodynamics Program for 2014-2015.

I grew up in Bellingham, Washington, then went east for undergraduate studies at Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine. After graduating from Bowdoin in 2014 with a B.A. in Earth & Oceanographic Science and Environmental Studies, I promptly moved back to Washington to begin graduate studies at the University of Washington. In my free time, I enjoy running, hiking, cooking (and eating).

Selected publications

Smith, M., S. Stammerjohn, O. Persson, L. Rainville, G. Liu, W. Perrie, R. Robertson, J. Jackson, and J. Thomson. 2018. Episodic Reversal of Autumn Ice Advance Caused by Release of Ocean Heat in the Beaufort Sea, J Geophys Res Oceans.

Roach, L., M. Smith, and S. Dean. 2018. Quantifying Growth of Pancake Sea Ice Floes Using Images From Drifting Buoys, J Geophys Res Oceans.

Smith, M. and J. Thomson. 2016. Scaling observations of surface waves in the Beaufort Sea, Elem Sci Anth.

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211 Benjamin Hall Interdisciplinary Research Building
Applied Physics Laboratory
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-2700
Twitter: @madmscientist