Claire Porter

Claire Porter

Products and Data Manager

(612) 625-6089

What I Do

I lead the software developer team at PGC, building and improving our data management tools, image processing pipelines, and data access applications. Our team brings expertise in programming, scientific computing, and geospatial big data to support the User Services team at PGC and our broad user base. I also lead the ArcticDEM, REMA, and EarthDEM projects, dedicated to building and distributing high-resolution digital surface models of the polar regions to the science community.

  • Master of Science in Software Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2015
  • Master of Geographic Information Science, University of Minnesota, 2010
  • B.A. Biological Anthropology, Harvard University, 2005

I am passionate about open science and data, environmental justice, and earth-observing satellite imagery.  I love building things, from treehouses and bookshelves to data management systems and HPC DEM production pipelines. My family loves wilderness travel, and we take long canoe and winter camping trips in remote places several times a year.


2019 NOAA David Johnson Award for Outstanding Innovative Use of Earth Observation Satellite Data
2019 Mounds Park Academy Alumni Association Award

Selected Publications
Tucker, C.J., Brandt, M., Hiernaux, P., Kariryaa, A., Rasmussen, K., Small, J., Igel, C., Reiner, F., Melocik, K., Meyer, J., Sinno, S., Romero, E., Glennie, E., Fitts, Y., Morin, A., Pinzon, J., McClain, D., Morin, P., Porter, C., Loeffler, S., Kergoat, L., Wigneron, J. P., Poulter, B., Ciais, P., Kaufman, R., Myneni, R., Saatchi, S., & Fensholt, R. (2023). Subcontinental carbon stocks of individual trees in Africa Drylands. Nature, 615, 80-86.
Howat, I. M., Porter, C., Smith, B. E., Noh, M. J., & Morin, P. (2019). The reference elevation model of Antarctica. The Cryosphere, 13(2), 665-674.
Willis, M. J., Zheng, W., Durkin, W. J., Pritchard, M. E., Ramage, J. M., Dowdeswell, J. A., Benham, T. J., Bassford, R. P., Stearns, L. A., Glazovsky, A. F., Macheret, Y. Y., & Porter, C. C. (2018). Massive destabilization of an Arctic ice cap. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 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.
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. Cryosphere, 9(1), 103-8.
Stapleton, S., LaRue, M., Lecomte, N., Atkinson, S., Garshelis, D., Porter, C., & Atwood, T. (2014). Polar Bears from Space: Assessing Satellite Imagery as a Tool to Track Arctic Wildlife. PloS one, 9(7).
Fretwell, P. T., LaRue, M. A., Morin, P., Kooyman, G. L., Wienecke, B., Ratcliffe, N., Fox, A.J., Fleming, A.H., Porter, C.C., & Trathan, P. N. (2012). An emperor penguin population estimate: the first global, synoptic survey of a species from space. PLoS One, 7(4).
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.