PGC News & Announcements (September 29, 2023)

PGC News and Announcements

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Important License Update

Electro-Optical Commercial Layer (EOCL) License

In spring of 2022, the satellite company, Maxar Technologies, transitioned from the NextView License to the Electro-Optical Commercial Layer (EOCL) License. The EOCL license applies to Maxar commercial imagery.

Please read our announcement further details and answers to frequently asked questions.

We are happy to announce that in July of 2023, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) announced an agreement with Maxar to establish an exception to EOCL for PGC’s ArcticDEM and Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica (REMA) projects!

PGC People Updates

Q&A: Jay Dickson, PGC Director

Earlier this month, James (“Jay”) Dickson, stepped into the role as PGC Director. We shared the news in our June edition with a glimpse of his professional background (click here if you missed it). We asked more detailed questions about his new role and visions for PGC. Check out the full interview on our website here:

New Members to PGC Advisory Committee

We are thrilled to announce the newest appointments to our Science and Operations Advisory Committee. Our three newest members are Dr. Kirsty Tinto of Columbia University (left), Dr. Peter Neff of University of Minnesota (middle), and Dr. Ben Jones of University of Alaska Fairbanks (right). The newly appointed chair is Dr. Craig Tweedie of University of Texas El Paso, who has served on the committee since 2014. Check out the bottom of our About page to learn about all of our committee members.
Thanks to everyone who submitted nominations earlier this year. It is an honor to receive many interested and qualified candidates.

PGC Icebreakers

Meet the PGC team members that will be deploying this year to McMurdo Station, Antarctica. It’ll be a shortened season for us (mid-October through early January) so we started breaking the ice for you on getting to know them. Read about how they answered, “What is your hobby?

Stephanie Linde is deploying to the ice for the first time this season. She has been a Geospatial Support Specialist at PGC for nearly 2 years. Stephanie grew up in Chicago and Iowa. She says her hobbies are “turning fiber into clothes through knitting and sewing – you’ll catch me knitting pretty much any time my hands aren’t needed for something else. I also love to get outside and go hiking.”


Rachel de Sobrino is returning for her second Antarctic deployment and has been a student assistant at PGC for 2 years. This past spring, she earned her B.S. in Geography from the University of Minnesota. Rachel’s hometown is Scandia, Minnesota and her hobby is swimming in icy cold lakes, whether they be in the mountains or Minneapolis in the wintertime.


PGC Updates and Events

PGC Community Slack

We launched a PGC Community Slack this summer. This is a shared space for community members to conect with one another.

Join today and start the conversation here.

Feel free to create channels for collaboration, connection, and topics of interest. The space is yours to exchange information and build relationships.


PGC DEMs & OpenTopography

PGC’s publicly available, high-resolution digital elevation products ArcticDEM and the Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica (REMA) are now accessible via OpenTopography (OT) – some restrictions apply, please see below. The OT platform provides additional tools for visualization and processing, unlike other access points.

Please note:

32m and 10m resolution data products are open to all users
2m resolution data products are restricted to education and research users

For more information, read the OT press release here: additional access points to PGC elevation products, click here

Recap: PGC at WAIS Workshop

This week 2 PGC staff members headed up north from our Twin Cities office to Cloquet, Minnesota to attend the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Workshop.

Mike Cloutier (right) presented a poster on the most recent improvements to PGC’s Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica (REMA). For more information about the event, visit

Conference Connections

PGC is hosting exhibitor booths at the upcoming SACNAS and AGU conferences! Please consider stopping by our booths (#138 & #211 respectively) and saying hi/hola/boozhoo!

PGC Support Vignette

PGC 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:

The PGC provides invaluable data, maps and expertise to large National Science Foundation polar research campaigns. The size of these campaigns can cover large geographic extents, longer temporal timelines, and involve multiple teams. Examples include Shackleton Glacier Camp, International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration and the GreenDrill CampaignThe GreenDrill team led efforts to sample the bedrock under the Greenland Ice Sheet. PGC is very pleased to have served GreenDrill and its team members: Jason Briner, Nicolás Young, Caleb Walcott and Allie Balter-Kennedy with hundreds of satellite images and geospatial support.

Check out the beautifully told story about their research featured in the Washington Post:

Check out the original PGC Newsletter post here.

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