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Kate Swanger

Kate Swanger  is an Associate Professor in the Environmental, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department at UMass Lowell.
Kate SwangerAssociate Professor, Graduate Coordinator
  • College
    College of Sciences
  • Department
    Environmental Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Phone
    (978) 934-2664
  • Email

Research Interests

Earth Surface processes & paleoclimatology, with an emphasis on glacial geology, permafrost processes & high-latitude climate change

My current research themes focus on the response of Antarctic ice sheets to late Cenozoic climate change, quantifying earth surface processes with rigorous field experiments and numerical modeling, and investigating the role of buried glacier ice in permafrost processes and their potential as climate archives.


  • Ph D: Geomorphology, (2009), Boston University - Boston, MA
  • BS: Anthropology, (2002), University of Oregon - Oregon

Selected Awards and Honors

  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Honor (2004), Scholarship/Research - NSF
  • Phi Beta Kappa (2002), Service, University - University of Oregon
  • Summa cum laude (2002), Scholarship/Research - University of Oregon

Selected Publications

  • Swanger, K.M. (2017). Buried ice in Kennar Valley: a late-Pleistocene remnant of Taylor Glacier. Antarctic Science.
  • Winsor, K., Babcock, E.L., Swanger, K.M., Valletta, R.D., Dickson, J.L. (). Evidence for multiple alpine glacier advances in Taylor Valley using rock glacier weathering and subsurface structure. Antarctic Science.
  • Swanger, K.M., Winckler, G., Lamp, J.L., Schaefer, J.M., Marchant, D.R. (). Exposure age scatter in cold-based glacier deposits: importance of source region topography and depositional processes. Quaternary Science Reviews.
  • Swanger, K.M., Lamp, J.L., Winckler, G., Schaefer, J.M., Marchant, D.R. (2017). Glacier advance during MIS 11 in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Nature Scientific Reports.
  • Winsor, K., Babcock, E.L., Swanger, K.M., Dickson, J.L., Valletta, R.D., Schmidt, D. (). Quaternary development of a large rock glacier and its potential geochemical relationship with Don Juan Pond, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes.
  • Swanger, K.M., Marchant, D.R., Schaefer, J.M., Winckler, G., Head, J.W. (2011). Elevated East Antarctic outlet glaciers during warmer-than-present climates in southern Victoria Land. Global and Planetary Change.
  • Kowalewski, D.E., Marchant, D.R., Swanger, K.M., Head, J.W. (2011). Modeling vapor diffusion within cold and dry supraglacial tills in Antarctica. Geomorphology.
  • Swanger, K.M., Marchant, D.R., Kowalewski, D.E., Head, J.W. (2010). Viscous flow lobes in central Taylor Valley, Antarctica: origin as remnant buried glacial ice. Geomorphology.
  • Swanger, K.M., Marchant, D.R. (2007). Sensitivity of ice-cemented Antarctic soils to greenhouse-induced thawing: are terrestrial archives at risk? Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 259 347–359.
  • Staiger, J.W., Marchant, D.R., Schaefer, J.M., Oberholzer, P., Johnson, J.V., Lewis, A.R., Swanger, K.M. (2006). Plio-Pleistocene history of Ferrar Glacier, Antarctica: implications for climate and ice sheet stability. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 243 489–503.

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Declined - PI: National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs�Antarctic Research (2013), Grant - NSF
  • Collaborative Research: Multi-nuclide approach to systematically evaluate the sca (2011), Grant -
    Swanger, K.M. (Principal)
  • PI: National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs Antarctic Research (2011), Sponsored Research - NSF
    Swanger, K.M.
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Award Recipient (2005), Fellowship - NSF