Florence Fetterer

Principal Investigator, NOAA @ NSIDC


MS, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, 1985
BS, St. John's College, Annapolis, MD 1981


Sea ice; applications-oriented remote sensing; data rescue; data set development

  • Project manager, Contribution to High Asia Runoff from Ice and Snow (CHARIS): CHARIS is USAID-supported project that promotes scientific collaboration and data sharing while conducting research on science questions that have broad economic and political impact.
  • PI, Ice Concentration and Ice Age Products for ArcticCAP: This work has two overarching deliverables: an improved daily ice concentration product and a proxy ice thickness product, both for use in sea ice modeling at the Navel Research Laboratory.
  • PI, Managing the SCICEX Data Collection: The SCience ICe EXcercise (SCICEX) program is a collaboration between the U.S. Navy and the marine research community to utilize data acquired by nuclear-powered submarines for the study of the Arctic Ocean. Unlike surface ships, submarines are able to acquire scientifically valuable data regardless of sea ice cover, weather conditions, and time of year.
  • PI, Sea Ice Concentration Climate Data Record Sustainment, Enhancement, and Production of Value-Added Products through the Sea Ice Index (NOAA)

Recent Highlights

  • May 2014: In partnership with the University of Colorado science library, we are seeking stable support for our archive of analog materials, including the Glacier Photograph Collection. The uniquely valuable nature of this collection comes across vividly in NSIDC's March 2013 Monthly Highlight.
  • January 2014: Estimates of Arctic sea ice extent and concentration from 1901 to 1956 were created from a collection of historic, hand-drawn sea ice charts from the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI). These contribute to an ongoing analysis of sea ice data using historical sources and reaching back to 1850.
  • July 2013: Beginning this month, the Sea Ice Index base period changed from 1979 to 2000 to a 30-year base period of 1981 to 2010. The change is important because some of the information users get by looking at the Sea Ice Index is now different in degree and kind. A web page about the Baseline Period Change describes how this was done.
  • Read the most recent news about NOAA at NSIDC data products on the NOAA@NSIDC Data Announcements page.

Current Roles

Florence manages NSIDC's NOAA-sponsored program and serves as the NSIDC liaison to NOAA. The NOAA@NSIDC program includes some of NSIDC's most popular data sets, such as the Glacier Photograph Collection and the Sea Ice Index. The team specializes in documenting and publishing data sets that might otherwise remain unavailable to researchers. Examples include Russian and U.S. sea ice chart data, submarine upward looking sonar ice draft data, and historical Soviet snow data. See News from NOAA at NSIDC for the latest information on data collections.


  • International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG)
  • Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G)
  • Southern Ocean Observing System Data Management Sub-Committee (SOOS-DMSC)
  • NASA Earth Observatory Advisory Board

Selected Publications


Posey, P. G., E. J. Metzger, A. J. Wallcraft, D. A. Hebert, R. A. Allard, O. M. Smedstad, M. W. Phelps, F. Fetterer, J. S. Stewart, W. N. Meier, and S. R. Helfrich. 2015. Improving Arctic sea ice edge forecasts by assimilating high horizontal resolution sea ice concentration data into the US Navy's ice forecast systems. The Cryosphere 9: 1,735-1,745, doi:10.5194/tc-9-1735-2015.

Serreze, M. C., F. Fetterer, W. F. Weeks. 2015. "Cryosphere: Sea Ice." In Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 2, edited by Gerald R. North, John Pyle, and Fuqing Zhang, 217–226. New York: Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-382225-3.00365-0.


Yu, Y., H. Stern, C. Fowler, F. Fetterer, and J. Maslanik. 2013. Interannual variability of arctic landfast ice between 1976 and 2007. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00178.1.

Wohlleben, T., A. Tivy, J. Stroeve, W. Meier, F. Fetterer, J. Wang and R. Assel. 2013. Computing and representing sea ice trends: Toward a community consensus. Eos 94(40), doi:10.1002/2013EO400006.


Meier, W.N., J. Stroeve, A. Barrett, and F. Fetterer. 2012. A simple approach to providing a more consistent Arctic sea ice extent timeseries from the 1950s to present. The Cryosphere 6: 1359-1368. doi:10.5194/tc-6-1359-2012.


Fetterer, F. 2009. Data Management Best Practices for Sea Ice Observations. In Field Techniques for Sea-Ice Research. Edited by H. Eicken et al. University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks, 588pp; ISBN 978-1-6022230-59-0.


Mahoney, A. R., R. G. Barry, V. Smolyanitsky, and F. Fetterer. 2008. Observed sea ice extent in the Russian Arctic, 1933–2006. Journal of Geophysical Research 113, C11005, doi:10.1029/2008JC004830.


Fetterer, F., ed. 2008. The Poles. In State of the Climate in 2007. Levinson, D.H. and J. H. Lawrimore, ed., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 89: S85-S105.


Stern, H., W. Meier, F. Fetterer. 2006. Arctic sea ice concentration from operational ice charts and satellite passive microwave data. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing.


Serreze, M.C., J. Maslanik, T.A. Scambos, F. Fetterer, J. Stroeve, K. Knowles, C. Fowler, S. Drobot, R. Barry, and T.M. Haran. 2003. A record minimum Arctic sea ice extent and area in 2002. Geophysical Research Letters 30(3): 1110, doi:10.1029/2002GL016406.

Selected Data Sets

Fetterer, F., K. Knowles, W. Meier, and M. Savoie. 2002, updated daily. Sea Ice Index. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media.

Underhill, V., F. Fetterer, and C. Petersen. 2014. Arctic Sea Ice Concentration and Extent from Danish Meteorological Institute Sea Ice Charts, 1901-1956. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5MP517M.

Danish Meteorological Institute and NSIDC. 2012. Arctic Sea Ice Charts from Danish Meteorological Institute, 1893 - 1956. Compiled by V. Underhill and F. Fetterer. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N56D5QXC.

Meier, W., F. Fetterer, M. Savoie, S. Mallory, R. Duerr, and J. Stroeve. 2011. NOAA/NSIDC Climate Data Record of Passive Microwave Sea Ice Concentration, Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media. http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N55M63M1.

National Ice Center (NIC) and NSIDC. 2010. Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent - Northern Hemisphere. Developed by F. Fetterer, M. Savoie, S. Helfrich, and P. Clemente-Colón. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5GT5K3K.

Fetterer, F., S. Wilds, and J. Sloan. 2008. Arctic sea ice melt pond statistics and maps, 1999-2001. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media. http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5PK0D32.

Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. 2007. Sea ice charts of the Russian Arctic in gridded format, 1933-2006.  Edited and compiled by V. Smolyanitsky, V. Borodachev, A. Mahoney, F. Fetterer, and R. Barry. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media. http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5D21VHJ.

National Ice Center. 2006, updated 2009. National Ice Center Arctic sea ice charts and climatologies in gridded format. Edited and compiled by F. Fetterer and C. Fowler. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5X34VDB.

Arctic Climatology Project. 2000. Environmental Working Group Arctic meteorology and climate atlas, edited by F. Fetterer and V. Radionov, National Snow and Ice Data Center, CD-ROM, Boulder, CO, 2000. http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5MS3QNJ.

Related Resources

Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent (MASIE)

Contribution to High Asia Runoff from Ice and Snow (CHARIS)


Sea Ice Index