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The Cryosphere Geophysics And Remote Sensing (CryoGARS) group

Hans-Peter Marshall

Marshall working in snow

Hans-Peter (HP) Marshall is an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences and the Center for Geophysical Investigation of the Shallow Subsurface (CGISS), at Boise State University, and an expert consultant for the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.  HP is a snow scientist and glaciologist who uses geophysics and engineering tools to study the Cryosphere.  He received his B.S. degree in Physics from the University of Washington (1999), with a minor in Geophysics, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2005).  He was a visiting Ph.D. student for one winter at the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (2004), and recently received the 2010 AGU Cryosphere Focus Group’s Young Investigator Award.  His current research is focused on spatial variability in snow and its effect on remote sensing, snow hydrology, and snow avalanches., (208) 426-1416,

Achim Heilig

Heilig working on equipment in snow Achim Heilig is currently a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Geosciences and the Center for Geophysical Investigation of the Shallow Subsurface (CGISS), at Boise State University, and the coordinating  postdoc for the international research project MUSI at the Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), University of Heidelberg, Germany and in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF).  Achim is a snow scientist with current research interests in the application of geophysical instrumentations to study the variability of snow depths, temporal changes of snowpack parameter and glacier behaviors.  He received his Diploma degree in Physical Geography from the Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich (2005), with minors in Meteorology and Geoinformatics, and a Ph.D. in Natural Sciences  from the University of Heidelberg, Germany (2009).

Scott Havens

Scott Havens in snowScott received the B.S. degree in civil engineering from University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2007. Scott is currently working towards his Ph.D. degree in Geophysics, studying how snow microstructure affects remote sensing as well as remote detection of snow avalanches. Scott is the recipient of the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship entitled “Characterizing snow microstructure with X-ray tomography and a Snow Micro Penetrometer: understanding important effects of microstructure on remote sensing.” Research projects involved with:

  • Direct action avalanche forecasting with SNOw Slope Stability
  • Detection of avalanches using infrasound
  • Effects of microstructure on radar

Scott can be reached at

Hank Hetrick

Hank Hetrick by equipment outsideIn 2010, Hank Hetrick received a B.S. in both Engineering/Physics and Physics with an emphasis in mathematics from Northwest Nazarene University, located in Nampa, Idaho. Hank is currently working towards his Ph.D. in geophysics. His research involves the use of resistivity methods to observe spatial and temporal changes in the soil moisture due to overlying snowmelt. His interests currently include exploration geophysics, specifically in electrical and electromagnetic methods.  Hank has spent the last two summers working at the Idaho National Laboratory, where he has developed expertise in 3-D visualization.  He is leading a long-term 3-D resistivity survey at our Bogus Ridge Snow Study Site with John Bradford, measuring soil moisture to investigate the role of lateral flow of water in snow.

Andrew Hedrick

MitterbergfernerMountain snow depth distributions can vary drastically over surprisingly small horizontal length scales due to factors such as wind redistribution, sublimation and vegetation effects. Accurately modeling basin- and catchment-scale snow water equivalent (SWE) can quickly become a dizzying prospect as a result of such variability, but novel remote sensing techniques can provide the spatial measurement extent required to properly calibrate and validate distributed hydrologic snow models over large areas. Working with the CryoGARS (Cryosphere  Geophysics And Remote Sensing) research group at Boise State University, Andrew is developing methods to better characterize the spatiotemporal variability of seasonal mountain snowpacks using remote sensing techniques in tandem with in situ and automated measurements. His main interests include:

  • Airborne and terrestrial Lidar applications
  • Time-lapse photogrammetry
  • Large-scale modeling of seasonal snowpack evolution

Andrew attended Montana State University where in 2007 he received his B.S. in  Physics, then in 2013 completed his M.S. in Geophysics at Boise State University. He now shares his time between Boise State University and the USDA-ARS Northwest Watershed Research Center as a Research Associate.


Jason Jennings

Jason is currently working toward his bachelors in Geophysics, scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2012.  Jason’s research is focused on modeling initial snow density, i.e. the density of snow as it falls to the ground.  This is done by using various weather measurements such as air temperature, relative humidity, etc.  Jason can be reached at

Andrew Peterson

Jake RobertsonJake Robertson on mountain top

Jake Robertson is a junior attending Boise State, majoring in geoscience with emphasis in hydrology. His interests include snow and ice physics along with Hydrology.  Jake is leading the installation of the lateral flow lysimeters at the Bogus Ridge Snow Study Site, and is maintaining this experiment throughout the winter.  He is also performing weekly snow distribution surveys in Dry Creek Experimental Watershed.