Melinda Webster

Melinda WebsterMelinda is a graduate student in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington in Seattle. Currently, she is working with Ignatius Rigor at the Applied Physics Lab’s Polar Science Center. Her main interest lies in using remote sensing techniques to study sea ice dynamics and ocean-atmosphere interactions in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions.  Specifically, her current research is the development of numerical weather filters for analyzing sea ice concentrations from passive microwave satellite data. Sea ice concentration estimates are prone to contamination from melt-ponding, water vapor, clouds, near-surface winds, rough sea surface, sensor noise, and surface emissivity differences between first-year and multi-year sea ice, all of which contribute to errors in sea ice analyses. As a result, sea ice concentration retrievals from passive microwave data tend to be lower than the in situ observations. Numerical weather filters can remove this contamination in raw passive microwave brightness temperatures, allowing a more definitive identification of “reference points” in sea ice algorithms, which may result in more accurate sea ice concentration estimates.

Background
Melinda graduated from the University of Washington in June 2010 with a minor in Applied Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography. She began working at the Polar Science Center in 2009. What began as an undergraduate research assistantship soon evolved into graduate research involving the analysis of sea ice estimates from passive microwave satellite data with improved weather filters.

When she is not studying or working on her research projects, Melinda is either traveling to far-reaching places and/or actively enjoying the great outdoors via her own two feet.