Florence Fetterer

Principal Investigator, NOAA@NSIDC


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


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

  • Lead, NOAA@NSIDC
  • 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, Sea Ice Concentration Climate Data Record Sustainment, Enhancement, and Production of Value-Added Products through the Sea Ice Index (NOAA)


  • April 2018: Presented a poster at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in New Orleans summarizing work led by NOAA's Diane Stanitski on Selecting Indicators for Understanding Arctic Change and Its Implications
  • March 2018: NOAA@NSIDC released On-Ice Arctic Sea Ice Thickness Measurements by Auger, Core, and Electromagnetic Induction, from the Fram Expedition Onward. This unique collection of ice thickness data was assembled over years and provided to us by Benjamin Holt, a scientist at JPL.
  • December 2017: Gave a lecture at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting on Data Rescue Case Studies from the Cryosphere and participated in the data rescue panel session.
  • October 2017: NOAA@NSIDC released Sea Ice Index Version 3. V3 changes how the monthly average area and extent data values are calculated. A technical note by Windnagel et al. 2017 summarizes reasons for the change and provides detailed documentation.
  • June 2016: NOAA Big Earth Data Initiative funding will allow us to add web services to the Sea Ice Index, and to rescue southern-ocean mooring data with the help of collaborators at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information and the Southern Ocean Observing System, housed at the University of Tasmania, Australia.
  • January 2016: With a newly awarded Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) grant to CU-Boulder Libraries and NSIDC, we will complete digitization of NSIDC's glacier photograph collection, and embark on a collaboration that we hope will secure the future of NSIDCs significant collection of analog material.
  • 2015: Twenty NOAA@NSIDC data announcements this year included news that 1,200 photographs were added to the Glacier Photographs Collection; the Submarine Upward Looking Sonar product added cruises from 1960, 1969, and 1970; the Iceberg Sighting database added another season's data, and the Sea Ice Index was improved with a new pole hole and weather filter. The filter was the subject of an NSIDC Highlight and was published as a standalone product. The filter is a DAAC product built using a NOAA@NSIDC product that in turn was derived from operational analyses at the National Ice Center. It is a good example of the benefit to research that operational data, and cross-agency cooperation, can have.
  • December 2015: Gridded Monthly Sea Ice Extent and Concentration, 1850 Onward was published. This product includes newly available historical data sources and will be used in reanalysis and climate studies.


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)
  • Contribution to High Asia Runoff from Ice and Snow (CHARIS)
  • Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC)



Walsh, J.E., J.S. Stewart, and F. Fetterer. 2019. Benchmark seasonal prediction skill estimates based on regional indices. The Cryosphere 13: 1073-1088. doi:10.5194/tc-13-1073-2019.


Goldstein, M., A.H. Lynch, A. Zsom, T. Arbetter, A. Chang, and F. Fetterer. 2018. The step-like evolution of Arctic open water. Scientific Reports 8: 16902. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-35064-5.

Walsh, J. E., R. L. Thoman, U.S. Bhatt, P. A. Bieniek, B. Brettschneider, M. Brubaker, S. Danielson, R. Ladner, F. Fetterer, K. Holderied, K. Iken, A. Mahoney, M. McCammon, and J. Partain. 2018. The high latitude marine heat wave of 2016 and its impacts on Alaska [in "Explaining Extreme Events of 2016 from a Climate Perspective"]. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 99(1): S39-S43. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-17-0118.1.


Maness, J., R. Duerr, M. Dulock, F. Fetterer, G. Hicks, A. Merredyth, W. Sampson, and A. Wallace. 2017. Releaving our melting past: Rescuing historical snow and ice data. GeoResJ doi:10.1016/j.grj.2017.10.002


Walsh, J. E., F. Fetterer, J. Scott Stewart, and W. L. Chapman. 2016. A database for depicting Arctic sea ice variations back to 1850. Geographical Review 107(1): 89-107. doi:10.1111/j.1931-0846.2016.12195.x


Meier, W.N., F. Fetterer, J. Scott Stewart, and S. Helfrich. 2015. How do sea-ice concentrations from operational data compare with passive microwave estimates? Implications for improved model evaluations and forecasting. Annals of Glaciology 56(69): 332-340. doi:10.3189/2015AoG69A694.

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, and 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.


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.

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.


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: 1,359-1,368. 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.


Meier, W.N., J. Stroeve, and F. Fetterer. 2007. Whither Arctic sea ice? A clear signal of decline regionally, seasonally and extending beyond the satellite record. Annals of Glaciology 46: 428-434.


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.


Fetterer, F., J. S. Stewart, and W. Meier. 2015, updated daily. MASAM2: Daily 4 km Arctic Sea Ice Concentration, Version 1. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi: doi:10.7265/N5ZS2TFT.

Walsh, J. E., W. L. Chapman, and F. Fetterer. 2015. Gridded Monthly Sea Ice Extent and Concentration, 1850 Onward, Version 1. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi: doi:10.7265/N5833PZ5.

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. doi: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. doi: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. doi: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. doi:10.7265/N5GT5K3K.

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. doi:10.7265/N5X34VDB.

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.doi: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. doi:10.7265/N5D21VHJ.

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.

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. doi:10.7265/N5MS3QNJ.

For a list of all NOAA@NSIDC products, see https://nsidc.org/noaa/data-sets


Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent (MASIE)

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


Sea Ice Index

State of the Cryosphere