As a United States government-funded research organization, PGC strives to provide transparent reporting and community impact for our sponsors, stakeholders, core users, and the general public.

Anti-Racist Solidarity Statement

The Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities stands firmly against the systemic racism that has long afflicted society and still causes immeasurable daily harm to Black People, Indigenous Peoples, and People of Color (BIPOC). The senseless killings of George Floyd in our hometown as well as those of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others are a part of the ongoing dehumanization of Black People by society and institutions. The PGC values Black Lives Matter and stands in solidarity with the BIPOC communities. 

We recognize our organization lacks diversity and mirrors the inequality existing in STEM, academia, and research. We must hold ourselves accountable and do better. In addition to our efforts to transfer our knowledge and expertise to a greater community and provide open access to high-quality, high-resolution elevation data, we commit to improve ourselves as well as our reach. As a science support organization, we are committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and equitable environment to all in our community.


The PGC User Services team collectively work to engage its users, the science community, and the general public. PGC provides workshops, webinars, and online documentation (check out our continuously growing Guides section) geared to both core and new users.

PGC has impacted millions of “armchair explorers” with our Google Street View campaign (Antarctica, Greenland) and educates and engages with learners of all ages by visiting local schools and community events.

Our Community section provides up-to-date resources on events, news, projects, and more or start a conversation in our PGC Community Slack.


Want to stay updated with the latest PGC news and announcements? Subscribe to our newsletter.

PGC Updates


NSF Science on the Ice: The United States Antarctic Program (Fifth Edition)

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Publications by PGC

Howat, Ian; Morin, Paul; Porter, Claire; Noh, Myong-Jong, 2018, “The Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica”,, Harvard Dataverse, V1

Porter, Claire; Morin, Paul; Howat, Ian; Noh, Myoung-Jon; Bates, Brian; Peterman, Kenneth; Keesey, Scott; Schlenk, Matthew; Gardiner, Judith; Tomko, Karen; Willis, Michael; Cloutier, Michael; Husby, Eric; Foga, Steven; Nakamura, Hitomi; Platson, Melisa; Wethington, Michael, Jr.; Williamson, Cathleen; Bauer, Gregory; Enos, Jeremy; Arnold, Galen; Kramer, William; Becker, Peter; Doshi, Abhijit; D’Souza, Cristelle; Cummens, Pat; Laurier, Fabien; Bojesen, Mikkel, 2018, “ArcticDEM”,, Harvard Dataverse, V1

Michael J. Willis, Whyjay Zheng, William J. Durkin, Matthew E. Pritchard, Joan M. Ramage, Julian A. Dowdeswell, Toby J. Benham, Robin P. Bassford, Leigh A. Stearns, Andrey F. Glazovsky, Yuri Y. Macheret, Claire C. Porter. (2018). Massive destabilization of an Arctic ice camp. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 502, 146-155.

Shean, D. E., Alexandrov, O., Moratto, Z. M., Smith, B. E., Joughin, I. R., Porter, C., & Morin, P. (2016). An automated, open-source pipeline for mass production of digital elevation models (DEMs) from very-high-resolution commercial stereo satellite imagery. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 116, 101–117. doi:10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2016.03.012

Larue, M. A., Stapleton, S., Porter, C., Atkinson, S., Atwood, T., Dyck, M., & Lecomte, N. (2015). Testing methods for using high-resolution satellite imagery to monitor polar bear abundance and distribution. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 39(4), 772–779. doi:10.1002/wsb.596

Willis, M. J., Herried, B. G., Bevis, M. G., & Bell, R. E. (2015). Recharge of a subglacial lake by surface meltwater in northeast Greenland. Nature, 518(7538), 223–227. doi:10.1038/nature14116

Howat, I. M., Porter, C., Noh, M. J., Smith, B. E., & Jeong, S. (2015). Brief communication: Sudden drainage of a subglacial lake beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet. The Cryosphere, 9(1), 103–108. doi:10.5194/tc-9-103-2015

Donnellan, A., Bills, B., Green, J. J., Goullioud, R., Jones, S., Knight, R., Underhill, M., Goguen, J., De Jong, E. M., Ansar, A., Scambos, T., Morin, P., Hallet, B., Thompson, L., Gardner, A. S., & Ekholm, J. (2014). Studying mountain glacier processes using a staring instrument. In Aerospace Conference. IEEE Computer Society. doi:10.1109/AERO.2014.6836284

Kargel, J. S., Ahlstrøm, A. P., Alley, R. B., Bamber, J. L., Benham, T. J., Box, J. E., Chen, C., Christoffersen, P., Citterio, M., Cogley, J. G., Jiskoot, H., Leonard, G. J., Morin, P., Scambos, T., Sheldon, T., & Willis, I. (2012). Brief communication: Greenland’s shrinking ice cover: “fast times” but not that fast. Cryosphere, 6(3), 533–537. doi:10.5194/tc-6-533-2012

LaRue, M. A., Ainley, D. G., Swanson, M., Dugger, K. M., Lyver, P. O., Barton, K., & Ballard, G. (2013). Climate Change Winners: Receding Ice Fields Facilitate Colony Expansion and Altered Dynamics in an Adélie Penguin Metapopulation. PLoS ONE, 8(4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060568

LaRue, M. A., Rotella, J. J., Garrott, R. A., Siniff, D. B., Ainley, D. G., Stauffer, G. E., Porter, C. C., & Morin, P. J. (2011). Satellite imagery can be used to detect variation in abundance of Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) in Erebus Bay, Antarctica. Polar Biology, 34(11), 1727–1737. doi:10.1007/s00300-011-1023-0

Publications Supported by PGC

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Publications List

PGC has provided geospatial support to hundreds of research groups and their academic works. A full curriculum vitae can be accessed using the “Publications List” link.