Twila Moon

Research Scientist III, Deputy NSIDC Lead Scientist

About Twila

Twila Moon is the deputy lead scientist at NSIDC and the science communication liaison. Moon is an expert in contemporary glacier and ice sheet changes, and the connections among ice, climate, ocean, and ecosystem. While she has conducted work across the globe, her primary focus is on the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Arctic. Projects span discovery science, research tool building, and science community organization, and Moon is also an editor for the annual NOAA Arctic Report Card. Her work has been published in high-impact journals such as Science and Nature, and received extensive media coverage; for example, National Public Radio, the Associated Press, and the BBC. She is an accomplished science communicator and works to connect climate science knowledge with decision makers, philanthropists, media, and the public. She conducted research at the University of Colorado, University of Oregon, and University of Bristol (UK) before returning to NSIDC in 2017.


Ice dynamics, ice sheet-ocean interaction, ice loss and freshwater flux, ice-ecosystem connections, hydrology of glaciers and ice sheets, glacier-sea ice interaction, observational science, GIS data tool development, research community organization, science communication

Current Research

Moon conducts a wide variety of research, including discovery science and geoscience education research, and is also involved in science community organization and collaboration initiatives. Current projects include:

QGreenland: QGreenland ( is a Greenland data viewing, mapping, and analysis tool. QGreenland provides a curated set of multidisciplinary geospatial data for the Greenland ice sheet and terrestrial and marine areas. The QGreenland package works on the free QGIS platform and comes with complete User Guide and supporting information, so even those new to GIS can explore. Moon is the project PI. Source of support: NSF

PolarPASS: The PolarPASS geoscience education research project aims to increase polar knowledge and interest amongst undergraduate students. The project achieves this in part by evaluating how use of a 360-degree interactive environment can increase student sense of place and spatial analysis skills. Moon is the project PI. Source of support: NSF

GRISO: The Greenland Ice Sheet Ocean Science Network (GRISO, goal is to facilitate scientific progress by bringing together the community and leveraging international collaborations between individuals, groups and networks. Current activities include facilitating the successful outcomes for five working groups (focuses: ice forcing ocean, ocean forcing ice, data, coastal ecosystems, and paleo) and launching a Greenland science summer school. Moon is a project Co-PI. Source of support: NSF

Glacial ice, fjords, and polar bears: In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Washington, this project works to understand how polar bears in southeastern Greenland use the coastal glacial environment. Moon is a project Co-PI. Source of support: NASA

Navigating the New Arctic Community Office: The NNA-CO ( provides leadership and coordination to support use-inspired convergence research in the Arctic—collaborative research that deeply draws on information and expertise from across disciplines and knowledge systems to solve complex challenges. Moon is project Senior Personnel. Source of support: NSF


Ph.D., University of Washington, 2014
M.S., University of Washington, 2008
B.S., Stanford University, 2004