Craig Stanley Lingle

Craig Lingle

Title: Research Professor Emeritus, Glaciology
Institution: Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska, United States

Craig Stanley Lingle, Ph.D., Glaciologist, Educator and Research Professor Emeritus, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for his dedication, achievements, and leadership in the field of environmental science.

Dr. Lingle became interested in glaciology as a result of climbing about 77 mountains in the ranges of western North America, mostly during his late teens and 20s from 1963 to 1974. His climbs included first ascents of: West Mendenhall Tower, measuring upward of 6,600 feet, and East Mendenhall Tower, measuring 6,825 feet, both in 1971 with Dick Benedict and Bruce Tickell; Horn Spire, measuring 6,798 feet, in 1973, with Bruce Tickell, Dick Benedict and Gerald Buckley; the probable first ascent of Sinclair Mountain, measuring over 6,800 feet, in 1973, with Joe Greenough and Gerald Buckley; and all located in the heavily-glaciered Coast Mountains of Southeast Alaska. Other climbs included Mt. Robson, measuring 12,972 feet, in British Columbia in 1973 with Dick Benedict and Kay McCarthy, the Grand Teton measuring 13,775 feet in Wyoming in 1969, with Shirley Pytlak, and Mt. Rainier, measuring 14,411 ft., in Washington in 1967, with Lew Thorson and Darv Lloyd.

Dr. Lingle earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering at the University of Washington (U.W.) in 1967. He worked for Boeing Corp. in 1968 then, having become interested in the earth sciences, he took two years of geology courses, including a basic glaciology course, and also earned a secondary teaching certificate at U.W., in 1970, while working as a night computer operator. Subsequently, Dr. Lingle obtained a job teaching high school and junior high school. He taught basic electronics, earth science, oceanography, and biology in Juneau, Alaska, from 1970 to 1974. This time period included traveling around the world west to east during summer 1972 with Ms. Diana Duncan. They visited Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, New Guinea, New Zealand, and Hawaii, where they were married in Honolulu.

In summer 1974 Dr. and Ms. Lingle left Juneau and spent most of a year traveling around the world this time from east to west. In Nepal, they trekked for over 40 days from near Kathmandu to the base of Mt. Everest (i.e., to Kala Patthar at 18,519 ft.) and back, then trekked for about 11 days from Pokhara up into the large cirque beneath the south face of Annapurna. Trekking in the Himalayas increased Dr. Lingle’s interest in glaciology. They then traveled overland across southern Asia by bus and train, and finally to Austria. After staying for about a month in Lermoos ski village, during April 1975 they traveled by bicycle around Italy before returning to the U.S. These travels greatly increased their appreciation of other cultures.

Dr. Lingle then earned a Master of Science in geological sciences at the University of Maine Orono in 1978, where his thesis advisor was glaciologist Professor Terence J. Hughes. Initially, Dr. Lingle worked as a research assistant (RA), for the mathematician David H. Schilling and Dr. Hughes on CLIMAP, a project that involved reconstructing the great ice sheets that existed during the last ice age maximum 20,000 years ago. During this time period he also worked as an RA for then-Ph.D. graduate student Professor James A. Clark at the University of Colorado Boulder, on the problem of non-uniform relative sea-level changes on a spherical deformable earth caused by the Antarctic component of deglaciation after the last ice age maximum (while on leave from the University of Maine). He also participated in a triangulation survey of Jakobshavns Glacier, West Greenland, supported by the U.S. Coast Guard. The title of his master’s thesis is: “Tidal Flexure of Jakobshavns Glacier, West Greenland.” He then earned a PhD in geophysics from the University of Wisconsin Madison, in 1983, working as an RA for his thesis advisor Professor Charles R. Bentley, Antarctic geophysicist and glaciologist. The title of his PhD dissertation is: “A Numerical Model of Interactions Between a Polar Ice Stream, the Ocean, and the Solid Earth: Application to Ice Stream E, West Antarctica.” Eric G. Lingle, Ms. Diana D. Lingle’s and Dr. Lingle’s son, was born in 1982. They divorced in 2012.

Subsequently Dr. Lingle accepted a National Research Council resident research associateship (RRA, 1983 to 1984) at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado Boulder, where he worked on numerical modeling of post-ice age retreat of Jakobshavns Ice Stream, West Greenland, in collaboration with Dr. James A. Clark. He then continued as a CIRES research associate from 1984 to 1986 where he worked on numerical modeling of Whillans Ice Stream, West Antarctica, and the Ross Ice Shelf in collaboration with David H. Schilling, associate professor of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin Center Barron County, Timothy J. Brown, CIRES and Department of Geography at the University of Colorado Boulder, Dr. James L. Fastook, glaciologist and professor at the School of Computing and Information Science at the University of Maine, and glaciologist Dr. W.S.B. “Stan” Paterson.

Dr. Lingle then accepted a position as program manager for glaciology in the Division of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, in Washington, D.C., from 1986 to 1987. As such, he travelled to Antarctica for about 3 weeks where his activities included participating in the put-in flights for a shallow ice-coring expedition led by Dr. Ellen Mosley-Thompson (of Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University), on the high and remote East Antarctic Ice Sheet. This involved open-field landings and takeoffs. He also spent several days acclimating at South Pole Station with Dr. Mosley-Thompson’s group.

Subsequently, Dr. Lingle worked as a consultant for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1987 to 1988, while located at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland, where he worked with Dr. H. Jay Zwally’s ice sheet altimetry group in the Oceans and Ice Branch of the Laboratory for Hydrospheric Sciences. He then accepted a National Research Council RRA from 1988 to 1990, and continued to work with Dr. Zwally’s group on the measurement of the polar ice sheets with satellite radar altimetry.

In 1990, Dr. Lingle accepted a position as research associate professor at the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he managed research, as principal investigator (PI) and co-PI, mostly funded by NASA’s cryospheric sciences program, based on satellite radar altimetry, spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery, airborne SAR and laser altimetry, the latter with Drs. Keith Echelmeyer (1954-2010) and Will Harrison (professors of geophysics and physics, respectively, at the Geophysical Institute), and numerical modeling. In conjunction with this work he mentored graduate students James J. Roush (M.S., 1996), Dennis R. Fatland (Ph.D., 1998), J. Brent Ritchie (M.S., 2007), and Reginald R. Muskett (Ph.D., 2007). With colleagues Dr. Shusun Li and Dr. Rudy Gens, he initiated and co-taught a course on geophysical applications of spaceborne SAR interferometry. During 1997-’98 he served as acting director of the Alaska SAR Facility (ASF, now the Alaska Satellite Facility, which is operated by the Geophysical Institute under contract to NASA). In 2000 Dr. Lingle was promoted to research professor, and served as snow, ice, and permafrost group leader from 2003 to 2007.

During 2001 to 2007 Dr. Lingle was principal investigator, with co-investigators Dr. Edward Bueler, professor of applied mathematics at UAF, and Dr. David N. Covey, computer scientist and mathematician, at the Geophysical Institute, UAF, for the development project supported by NASA that resulted in the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM). Dr. Jed Brown, then an undergraduate in physics and mathematics, and a Master of Science graduate student in mathematics at UAF, played the key role in rewriting the ice sheet model and developing PISM using the Portable Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation (PETSc). PISM became the first time- and temperature-dependent ice sheet model to employ highly-efficient massively-parallel computation, and the first to incorporate fast ice stream flow as well as coupling of the inland Antarctic Ice Sheet to the extensive floating ice shelves around its margins, in which Dr. Bueler played the key roles. PISM was then licensed as open source code by Dr. Bueler, and made publicly available with user support including a detailed instruction manual. When Dr. Lingle became emeritus in 2007, Dr. Bueler became principal investigator and, with continued support from NASA and in collaboration with colleagues, continued development and user-support for PISM, which has been adopted by many ice sheet modeling groups worldwide. Ricarda Winkelmann and 3 others used PISM to show that “With unrestrained future CO2 emissions, the amount of sea-level rise from Antarctica could exceed tens of meters over the next 1000 years and could ultimately lead to loss of the entire [Antarctic] ice sheet” (Science Advances, 11 Sept. 2015, Vol. 1, no. 8). Andy Aschwanden and seven others used PISM to show that “Greenland could contribute 5 to 33 cm to rising sea level by 2100,” and “Greenland will very likely become ice free within 1000 years [resulting in a 7 meter contribution to rising sea level] without substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions” (Science Advances, 19 June 2019, Vol. 5, no. 6).

A long-standing member of the International Glaciological Society and formerly a long-standing member of American Geophysical Union, Dr. Lingle authored and co-authored papers (a list can be found in Google Scholar) on the subjects of spatially-varying relative sea-level (RSL) changes caused by thinning and retreat of the Antarctic Ice Sheet since the last glacial maximum (LGM, 20,000 years ago), including the effects of solid-earth deformation and associated distortion of the earth’s gravity field; tidal flexure of a West Greenland outlet glacier; the effects of RSL changes on the dynamic retreat of a polar ice stream since the LGM; measurements of the ice sheets with satellite radar altimetry; surging of large Alaska-Yukon glaciers measured with SAR imagery including SAR interferometry; the mass balances of Alaska-Yukon glaciers measured with kinematic GPS-coupled small-aircraft laser altimetry; numerical modeling of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, and the Antarctic Ice Sheet; and use of ICESat laser altimetry to provide control for a satellite SAR interferometry-derived digital elevation model of a region on the north slope of Alaska.

During his career Dr. Lingle has been the recipient of Antarctic Service Medals of the U.S. from the National Science Foundation and from the U.S. Navy (June 1987); a 1990 Research Project of the Month Award from the Office of Health and Environmental Research, U.S. Dept. of Energy; a 1992 Group Achievement Award from NASA; a 2003 Letter of Commendation and a medal from Lilly Pharmaceutical Corp. for successfully managing type 1 diabetes for 50 years, and in 2017, an Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who. He has appeared in multiple editions of Marquis Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the West, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, and Who’s Who in the World. Now retired and less physically active, he enjoys regular Pilates sessions.

For more information, please visit:

Who’s Who Newsletter

Press Release

Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement

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