Kristin Poinar

PhD (she/her/hers)

Kristin Poinar.

Kristin Poinar

PhD (she/her/hers)

Kristin Poinar

PhD (she/her/hers)

Assistant Professor
UB RENEW Institute


Glaciology, ice-sheet modeling

Contact Information

445 Hochstetter Hall

Phone: (716) 645-4286


Ph.D, Geophysics, University of Washington – 2015

Research Interests

Earth’s ice sheets, especially the Greenland Ice Sheet, as well as Antarctica and past ice sheets (e.g., the Laurentide).  Ice dynamics and interactions between ice flow and liquid water.  How, when, and where does surface melt water get to the ice-sheet bed, and how does this affect ice dynamics?  Her primary tool is process-scale ice-sheet models, and she incorporates remote sensing data into developing these models.

Recent Publications

J. M. Sperhac, K. Poinar, R. Jones-Ivey, E. Snitzer, J. Briner, B. Csatho, S. Nowicki, E. Simon, and A. Patra. “GHub: Building a glaciology gateway to unify a community.” Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, doi:10.1002/cpe.6130.

K. Poinar and L. C. Andrews, 2020. “Challenges in predicting Greenland supraglacial lake drainages at the regional scale.” The Cryosphere Discussions, doi:10.5194/tc-2020-251.

K. Poinar, C. F. Dow, and L. C Andrews, 2019. “Long-term support of an active subglacial hydrologic system in Southeast Greenland by firn aquifers.” Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2019GL082786.

C. Dow, W. Lee, J. Greenbaum, C. Greene, D. Blankenship, K. Poinar, A. Forrest, D. Young, and C. Zappa (2018). “Basal channels drive active surface hydrology and transverse ice-shelf fracture.” Science Advances 4(6), doi:10.1126/sciadv.aao7212.

K. Poinar, I. Joughin, D. Lilien, L. Brucker, L. Kehrl, and S. Nowicki, 2017. “Drainage of Southeast
Greenland Firn-Aquifer Water through Crevasses to the Bed.” Frontiers in Earth Science special issue “Melt Water Retention Processes in Snow and Firn on Ice Sheets and Glaciers: Observations and Modeling” 5, 8–15. doi:10.3389/feart.2017.00005.

K. Poinar, I. Joughin, J. T. M. Lenaerts, and M. R. van den Broeke, 2016. “Englacial Latent-Heat Transfer Has Limited Influence on Seaward Ice Flux in Western Greenland.” Journal of Glaciology 62(235), 1–16.  doi:10.1017/jog2016.103.

D. Shapero, I. Joughin, K. Poinar, M. Morlighem, F. Gillet-Chaulet, 2016. “Basal Resistance for Three of the Largest Greenland Outlet Glaciers.” Journal of Geophysical Research 121, 1–13. doi:10.1002/2015JF003643.

K. Poinar, I. Joughin, S. B. Das, M. D. Behn, J. T. M. Lenaerts, and M. R. van den Broeke, 2015. “Limits to Future Expansion of Surface-Melt-Enhanced Ice Flow into the Interior of Western Greenland.” Geophysical Research Letters
42(6), 1800–1807. doi:10.1002/2015GL063192.

Course Offerings

  • GLY 102 Climate Change
  • GLY 427/527 Statistics and Modeling of Geologic Data
  • GLY 447/547 Glaciology
  • GLY 499 – Independent Study
  • GLY 633 – Graduate Research
  • GLY 700 – Thesis Guidance

Current Students

  • Josh Charlton, MS 2021
  • Naureen Khan, PhD. TBA

Please see Dr. Poinar’s research website for an up-to-date list of current students.