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Mary J. Brodzik

Senior Associate Scientist

About Mary J.

At NSIDC since 1993, senior associate scientist Mary Jo Brodzik works in the spaces that connect scientific programming and remote sensing to cryospheric and hydrologic science. She leads teams of researchers and developers in producing reliable, high-quality data sets and meaningful research results. She specializes in the challenges of modifying research-quality software and applications for use in operational, supercomputing environments. Brodzik has applied passive microwave and optical remote sensing data sets to research questions about global snow cover, snow melt onset, snow and glacier runoff volumes and sea ice concentrations. She has worked on NASA Cold Lands Processes and SnowEx field campaigns, which strive to answer questions of spatial scale when using remote sensing to actually understand the snow in our environment. In the last 10 years, she has managed a team that uses cutting-edge numerical techniques to produce the next generation of gridded, passive microwave brightness temperatures at unprecedented, enhanced spatial resolutions. Brodzik is humbled to contribute to quality cryospheric research, at a time when the cold regions of the world are rapidly changing.


Optical and passive microwave remote sensing of snow and ice, remote sensing data gridding schemes, design and development of reliable scientific software, self-describing data set definition, and effective scientific visualization techniques

Current Research

Developing Enhanced-Resolution, Gridded Passive Microwave Brightness Temperatures: In Earth orbit since the 1970s, passive microwave radiometers have provided a nearly continuous, global record of upwelling passive radiation at long wavelengths. Passive microwave sensors can see through most clouds and collect measurements day and night. This enables researchers to use passive microwave observations to study the many land and ice sheet processes involving water in liquid and solid forms, including snow cover, snow melt onset, sea ice concentration, sea ice motion, soil moisture, and recent cutting-edge investigations of firn aquifer mapping in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Using the radiometer version of the Scatterometer Image Reconstruction (rSIR) algorithm, current work is revising and extending the Calibrated, Enhanced-Resolution EASE-Grid 2.0 Brightness Temperatures (CETB) data sets to be produced on a daily, near real-time basis, with more sensors than have been previously available. CETB data will be produced in near real-time for currently operating SSMIS and SMAP radiometers, and will soon be available for AMSR2. With original funding from the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs), the CETB data are now supported by a combination of interested agencies who are depending on the high-quality metadata and enhanced spatial resolution to advance understanding of cryospheric processes. The CETB enhanced spatial resolution will enable researchers to analyze trends in coastal regions and marginal ice zones that were not possible with previously available, coarser versions of the data. Sources of support: NASA Cryospheric Research, NASA Terrestrial Hydrologic Processes, NOAA Proving Ground and Risk Reduction Program, US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory


B.A. Summa cum laude, Mathematics, Fordham University, 1987


Google Scholar
Mary J. Brodzik
CIRES Service Award