Dr. Abigail Lute studies the interactions between climate and water, with an emphasis on aspects of the cryosphere including snow, glaciers, and rock glaciers. She uses a combination of observational and modeled data to study the dynamics of frozen water across continents. She brings her experience with modeling to bear assisting Woodwell’s climate risk team.
During her Ph.D., Dr. Lute worked with temperature data to reduce the uncertainty in environmental and climate models, which is essential to accurate climate science. Additionally, she developed a snow and climate dataset for the western U.S. that provides the highest resolution climate data currently available for the entire region. The data depicts both pre-industrial, present day, and future climate scenarios.
Dr. Lute spent three years in New Zealand during her undergraduate studies. While there, she spent most weekends backpacking, which is when she fell in love with mountain environments and wanted to better understand them. Her research on snow and glaciers made it clear to her what we have already lost—and how much more we stand to lose—as a result of climate change, inspiring her to apply her skills directly to combating the issue. She hopes her work with Woodwell will help inform better climate policies.
In her spare time she enjoys trail running with her two dogs, gardening, biking and spending time in the mountains of Idaho.