Associate Professor (Ph.D. University of Washington, 2007) -- glaciology, climate change, modeling glacier mass balance, ice core analysis, glacier geomorphology.



  • Office: Bldg 73 Room 203
  • e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • phone: 801-585-9167 (office)  801-585-7156 (lab)

Research Interests:

  • Glacier and ice sheet dynamics
  • Climate variability and change
  • Energy and mass balance modeling of snow and ice
  • Ice core paleoclimate reconstruction



My research is part of a larger effort to characterize climate variability and climate change on multiple temporal and spatial scales and assess the impacts of these changes on society. In particular, my research focuses on glaciers and ice sheets as recorders and indicators of climate change, and as freshwater resources. Recent and ongoing projects include quantifying glacier contributions to water resources, quantifying glacier sensitivity to climate change, reconstructing past climate using ice core snow accumulation data, and reconciling geomorphic evidence of past glacier extents with climate. My research group uses a combination of field, laboratory, and numerical methods to tackle these problems.


  • Ph.D. - University of Washington (2007)
  • Master of Science - University of Washington (2003)
  • Bachelor of Science - Geology, Brigham Young University (2000)

Courses Taught:

  • Snow and Ice (GEOG 3292/5292)


* indicates graduate student authors
+ indicates undergraduate student authors

  • Koppes, M., S. Rupper, M. Asay*, A. Winter-Billington*, 2015. Sensitivity of glacier runoff projections to baseline climate data in the Indus River Basin. Frontiers of Earth Science, 3, 59.
  • Huybers*, K., S. Rupper, G. Roe, 2015. Response of closed basin lakes to interannual climate variability. Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-015-2798-4.
  • Maurer*, J., S. Rupper, 2015. Tapping into the Hexagon spy imagery database: anew automated workflow for geomorphic change detection. Journal of Photogrammetryand Remote Sensing, 108, 113-127.
  • Rupper, S., W. Christensen, B. Bickmore, L. Burgener*, L. Koenig, M. Koutnik C. Miège*, R. Forster, 2015. The effects of dating uncertainties on net accumulation estimates from ice cores. Journal of Glaciology, 61(225), 163-172.
  • Liu*, Z., J. Radebaugh, R. Harris, E. Christiansen, S. Rupper, 2015. Role of fluids in the tectonic evolution of Titan. Icarus.
  • Krusic*, P., E. Cook, D. Dukpa, A. Putnam, S. Rupper, J. Schaefer, 2015. 638 yearsof summer temperature variability over the Bhutanese Himalaya. Geophysical ResearchLetters,
  • Sagredo*, E, S. Rupper, T. Lowell. 2014. Sensitivity of the equilibrium line altitudeacross the Andes. Quaternary Research, 81(2),355-366.
  • Burgener*, L., S. Rupper, L. Koenig, R. Forster, W. Christensen, J. Williams*, M.Koutnik, C. Miege, E. Steig, D. Keeler+, L. Riley +, 2013. An observed negative trend in WestAntarctic accumulation rates from 1975 to 2010: Evidence from new observed and simulatedrecords. Journal of Geophysical Research, 118,1-12.
  • Steig, E., Q. Ding, J. White, M. Kuttel, S. Rupper, T. Neumann, P. Neff, A. Gallant,P. Mayewski, K. Taylor, G. Hoffmann, D. Dixon, S. Schoenemann, B. Markle, D. Schneider,T. Fudge, A. Schauer, R. Teel, B. Vaughn, L. Burgener*, J. Williams*, E. Korotkikh,2013. Recent climate and ice-sheet changes in West Antarctica compared with the past 2,000years. Nature Geoscience, 6,372-375.
  • Rupper, S., S. Schaefer, L. Burgener* , L. Koenig, K. Tsering, E. Cook, 2012. Sensitivityand response of Bhutanese glaciers to atmospheric warming. Geophysical Research Letters,39, 19, doi: 10.1029/2012GL053010.
  • McBride, J., S. Rupper, S. Ritter, D. Tingey, M. Koutnik, A. Quick*, T. Morris, R.Keach, L. Burgener+, A. McKean*, J. Williams*, J. Maurer+, D. Keeler+, R. Windell+,2012. Relationship between wave ogives and radar scattering in an alpine glacier. Geosphere,8, 1054-1077.
  • Thomas*, A.L., S. Rupper, W. Christensen, 2011. Characterizing the statisticalproperties and interhemispheric distribution of Dansgaard-Oeschger events. Journal ofGeophysical Research, 116, D03103.
  • Rupper, S., M. Koppes, 2010. Spatial patterns in Central Asian climate andequilibrium line altitudes. IOP Earth and Environmental Science,doi:10.1088/1755-1315/9/1/012009.
  • Vizciano, M., S. Rupper, J. Chiang, 2010. Mechanisms of Glacial Onset 2.75Ma. Paleoceanography, 25, PA2205.
  • McBride, J., S. Rupper, S. Ritter, D. Tingey, A. Quick*, A. McKean*, N. Jones+ ,2010. Results of an experimental radar survey on the Gornergletscher GlacierSystem (Zwillingsgletscher), Valais, Switzerland: Proceedings of the XIII InternationalConference on Ground Penetrating Radar. doi:10.1109/ICGPR.2010.5550157
  • Rupper, S., G.H. Roe, A. Gillespie, 2009. Spatial patterns of glacier advance andretreat in Central Asia in the Holocene. Quaternary Research, 72(3):337-346.
  • Rupper, S.,G.H. Roe, 2008. Glacier changes and regional climate – a mass andenergy balance approach. Journal of Climate, 21(20):5384-5401.
  • Fisher, D., E. Osterberg, A. Dyke, D. Dahl-Jensen, M. Demuth, C. Zdanowicz, J.Bourgeois, R. Koerner, P. Mayewski, C. Wake, K. Kreutz, E.J. Steig, J. Zheng, K. Yalcin, K.Goto- Azuma, B. Luckman, S. Rupper, 2008. The Prospector Russell (Mt. Logan)Holocene-Late Wisconinan Istope Record: Connections to the tropcial Pacific Ocean. The Holocene, 18(5):667-677.
  • Rupper, S., E.J. Steig, G.H. Roe, 2004. The relationship between snow accumulationat Mt. Logan, Yukon, and climate variability in the North Pacific. Journal of Climate, 17(24): 4724-4739.
  • Fisher, D.A., Wake, C., Kreutz, K, Yalcin, K., Steig, E., Mayewski, P., Anserson, L.,Zheng, J., Rupper, S., Zdanowicz, C., Demuth, M., Waszkiewicz, M., Dahl-Jensen, D.,Goto- Azuma, K., Bourgeois, J.B., Koerner, R.M., Sekerka, J., Osterberg, E., Abbott, M.B.,Finney, B.P., Burns, S.J., 2004. Stable isotope records from Mount Logan, Eclipse ice coresand nearby Jellybean Lake. Water cycle of the North Pacific over 2000 years and overfive vertical kilometers: Sudden shifts and tropical connections. Geographie Physiqueet Quaternaire, 58(2-3):337-352.
  • Wittmeier*, H., J. Schaefer, J. Bakke, S. Rupper, Ø. Paasche, R. Schwartz, R. Finkel,S. Zimmerman, submitted. Late glacial mountain glacier culminationin Arctic Norway 14,000 years ago consistent with southern mid-latitudes. Geology.
  • Sagredo, E., T. Lowell, M. Kelly, J. Aravena, and S. Rupper, in revision. LateHolocene equilibrium line altitudes along the Andes: Paleoclimatic implications.Holocene.
  • White*, P., C.S. Reese, W.F. Christensen, S. Rupper, in revision, Bayesian gaussianprocess model for Antarctic surface mass balance and ice core site selection. Annals ofApplied Statistics.
  • Vargo*, L., J. Galewsky, S. Rupper, D. Ward, in revision, The influence ofshortwave radiation on Last Glacial Maximum and modern glacial conditions in the tropicaland subtropical Andes. Journal of GeophysicalResearch.
  • Maurer*, J., S. Rupper, J. Schaefer. Changes in glacier volume in the BhutaneseHimalayas over the past 40+ years.
  • Rupper, S., E. Cook, J. Schaefer, A. Putnam, J. Maurer*, P. Crusik*, K. Tsering, T.Rinzen, P. Ssarma, K. Huybers*. Himalayan glacier retreat anomalous in past 700 years.
  • Rupper, S., M. Carpenter*, O. Craven+, S. Nelson. Interannual variability in WAIS accumulation driven by geostrophic instability in the Amundsen Sea sector of Antarctica.
  • Rupper, S., and R. Hart*, 2008. Utah. In: Encyclopedia of Global Warming andClimate Change, Three Volume Set, edited by S.G. Philander, ElsevierScience.
  • Rupper, S., and T. Tomlin*, 2008. Holocene Epoch. In: Encyclopedia of GlobalWarming and Climate Change, Three volume Set, edited by S.G. Philander, ElsevierScience.
  • Cleroux, C., J. Fehrenbacher, S. Phipps, S. Rupper, B. Williams, T. Kiefer, 2010:Editorial Preface. IOP Earth and Environmental Science,doi:10.1088/1755-1315/9/1/012009.
  • Maurer*, J., and S. Rupper, 2014. A new DEM extraction method for Hexagon spyimagery and application to Bhutan glaciers. Utah Space Grant Consortium, USU DigitalCommons.