PGC News & Announcements (April 8, 2024)

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Fride: new improvements to our data portal

PGC is thrilled to announce major improvements to our new data portal, Fridge.
First launched in early 2023, the functionality of Fridge was limited to PGC Users searching our commercial satellite imagery archive.

Today it functions as a transormative search, download, and ordering platform. PGC Users* can order commercial satellite imagery products (raw, visual, and analytic). Additional access to PGC’s high-resolution polar digital elevation models, ArcticDEM and REMA, are publicly available via Fridge. 

Explore our deep archive of polar geospatial datasets and jump start your research with petabytes of information at your fingertips at

* PGC Users must provide active NSF OPP or NASA Cryosphere funding details.

PGC People Updates

PGC Welcomes New Geospatial Developers

A little overdue since the last issue but never too late to extend warm welcomes to Ali Hossaini (left) and Devin Power (right), our new Geospatial Developers since joining PGC in late October. Hossaini brings a strong background in geocomputing and spatial information and data systems, holding two Master’s degrees in Geography and GIS, and Bachelor’s in Geomatics Engineering. Power transitioned from a career of over 10 years as a water resources engineer, bringing an applicable background in project management and data processing, and recently earned a Master’s degree in GIS.

Hassaini and Power seamlessly integrated into the Products and Data team. They were invaluable in PGC’s Getting to Know PGC Data workshop in February, building curriculum and leading interactive exercices. We’re thrilled to have them be a part of our team!

PGC Graduate Research Assistants: New Hire and Opening Coming Soon

Eli Schlossberg is a new graduate research assistant that came to PGC with a strong background in mathematics. Schlossberg decided to transition his academic journey towards earning a Master of Geographic Information Science (GIS) degree at the University of Minnesota this fall. The PGC is excited to be a part of the journey and showcase the endless possibilities between mathematics, GIS, remote sensing, computer science, polar science, and more!


COMING SOON! The PGC will soon be seeking a current University of Minnesota graduate student for our upcoming graduate research assistant position opening. Start dates are flexible but aimed to begin this summer. Specific skills and workflows will be taught on the job. The ideal candidate will have strong problem-solving skills, excellent communication, and be motivated to connect academic work with PGC. Stay tuned to PGC Careers for details on how to apply and be a part of our innovative team!


PGC Updates and Events

Recap: the first Getting Started with PGC Data Workshop

PGC’s inaugural “Getting Started with PGC Data” workshop surpassed all expectations! From coast to coast, polar scientists brought their enthusiasm, talent and passion to the Twin Cities for 3-days of comprehensive learning.

The success of this workshop speaks volumes about the dedication and curiosity within our polar science community. We’re thrilled to witness such engagement and look forward to continuing this momentum in future events. Stay tuned for more updates and opportunities to delve deeper into polar research with PGC Data.









PGC Science and Operations Advisory Committee Meeting

In mid-March, PGC hosted our Science and Operations Advisory Committee (SOAC) for an annual meeting. Due to the approaching renewal of PGC’s cooperative agreement with NSF, the meeting focused on recommendations and adaptations over the next 5 years. The newly appointed chair Dr. Craig Tweedie of University of Texas El Paso, who has served since 2014, led critical discussions with the newly diverse committeee.

Integrating SOAC, PGC’s internal expertise and the wide range of perspectives of stakeholders, the future of PGC will foster agilityinnovation, and inclusivity during this point of evolution. We are grateful for the committee’s continued partnership and the PGC looks forward to achieving even greatermilestones together. Check out the bottom of our About page to learn about all of our committee members.

Distinguished Visitors

In October 2023, the Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation, Dr. Panchanathan, highlighted the PGC during his town hall at the University of Minnesota.

Panchanathan’s presentation, “Innovation Anywhere, Opportunities Everywhere: Accelerating the Frontiers of Science & Technology” focused on NSF’s vision and priorities, as well as how science and engineering are critical to solving major challenges and creating new opportunities for all.

PGC is honored to be recognized in this regard and holds the NSF in high esteem for the support provided.

📷 PGC’s Cole Kelleher is shown collecting Google Street View in Antarctica

In January 2024, PGC received another distinguished visitor, the University of Minnesota’s vice president for Research & Innovation, Dr. Shashank Priya. Dr. Priya invidivually met PGC leadership, staff and students to learn about the breadth and scale of our work. This led to the PGC being featured in the February research impact story developed by Dr. Priya’s Research & Innovation Office. These impact stories are a useful way to inform the public and community about the unique work done by the PGC and the enriching environment at the University of Minnesota as a top public research institution. Read the full article here.

Conference Connections


It has been a busy winter connecting with the greater polar science community! Our conference strategy for PGC is to share the responsibility of outreach amongst the whole team, which also enables broader participation in folks approaching us. It isn’t always the same PGC faces to be giving a talk, leading a session, or staffing the booth. Expect the unexpected and make sure to continue to reach us and say hi.

Upcoming Events

PGC is planning on attending the following conferences to connect with existing collaborators and reach new community members. By no means is this an exhaustive list but we hope you please consider stopping by and connecting with us!

PGC Impact Stories

PGC Support Vignette

PGC’s products and services enable scientists across disciplines and logistics teams to discover new insights into the polar regions. Here is a highlight of our user’s success:

Dr. Chunli Dai, assistant professor of Geomatics at the University of Florida and long-time PGC user, recently published “Applications of ArcticDEM for measuring volcanic dynamics, landslides, retrogressive thaw slumps, snowdrifts, and vegetation heights” in the Science of Remote Sensing journal. The article explores the utility of ArcticDEM, PGC’s publicly available dataset containing time-dependent digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Arctic region. The study showcases ArcticDEM’s versatility in analyzing different phenomenon across various scientific disciplines such as geohazard management, glaciology, hydrology, permafrost, and ecology. Dai, et al. emphasizes ArcticDEM’s potential for pan-Arctic monitoring due to its high resolution and complete coverage, facilitated by satellite remote sensing technology. Additionally, the article discusses future prospects for ArcticDEM usage, including its integration with other datasets and its potential for global applications beyond the Arctic region.
Check out the full publication here:

Share your research!

PGC is seeking to highlight our users’ successes in our newsletters and online.
Please help share your work and help foster more inclusivity, inspiration, and engagement with the broader polar science community.

Complete our form at or
share you interest with us at

Check out the original PGC Newsletter post here.

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