Cooper Elsworth is a Ph.D. candidate in Geophysics and MS student in Computational Mathematics and Engineering at Stanford University. His current research characterizes the physical mechanisms underlying the variable nature of ice flow from the ice sheets. He investigates how processes underlying the ice sheets affect the magnitude and location of ice loss from Antarctica. Cooper and his colleagues have demonstrated how small-scale meltwater networks underlying the ice sheet can induce large-scale changes inmass balance of the Antarctic continent. These results are necessary to constrain the response of the ice sheets to climate perturbations and inform sea-level predictions.
Prior to working at Stanford, Cooper completed MS and BS degrees at the Pennsylvania State University in Engineering Science and Mechanics. At this time, he developed novel computational methods for simulating deformable solids in fluid flows. This research has since been applied to improving our understanding of the hydrodynamics of ships and submersibles. For this research, he received the Francis H. Fenlon Award for the Most Outstanding Engineering Science Undergraduate Thesis and the Lagoa, Ray and Monkowski Graduate Award for Best Paper. His transition to Earth science has centered on
asking and solving important questions with positive societal impact.
At Stanford, Cooper is active in the community, serving on the Graduate Student Advisory Committee and founding an interdepartmental research seminar series (STIRS) in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences. He improves the dissemination of high-impact cryospheric research as a contributing member of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal Club. During the 2016-2017 season, Cooper performed fieldwork in Antarctica and received the Antarctica Service Medal for over 2 months of service on the continent. He has also gained field experience in Alaska, California, Oregon and Idaho and volunteered for the National Forest Service and the United States Geological Survey.