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 Sea Level And Ice (329C): People
Nicole-Jeanne  Schlegel's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 300-323
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Nicole-Jeanne Schlegel

Dr. Nicole-Jeanne Schlegel is a Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the Sea Level and Ice Group. She is a member of the Ice Sheet System Model team, and an expert on ISSM uncertainty quantification.
Her research focuses on assessing uncertainties in ice sheet model projections, particularly on the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. She is also responsible for integration and testing of the ISSM Glacier Energy and Mass Balance (GEMB) surface module that simulates the evolution of the ice sheet surface radiation balance and firn densification. Her other research interests include the use of NASA remote sensing observations to better constrain uncertainty in model simulations and ultimately, to determine the mechanisms, physical processes, and timescales responsible for current changes in ice sheet dynamics and mass balance. She is currently participating as a member of the executive committee of the ice sheet mass balance inter-comparison exercise 2 (IMBIE-2) and as a contributor to the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison for CMIP6 (ISMIP6) effort. In addition, she is a member of the NASA Sea Level Change science team, the NASA GRACE science team, and the NASA PREFIRE science team.
Before pursuing her PhD, she worked at Raytheon Company, designing software for training simulations. During her PhD studies, she worked with glaciologist Kurt Cuffey at the University of California, Berkeley, and climatologist Norman Miller at the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs. She participated in regional climate model-based studies of California climate change and extreme weather events, and her PhD focused on continental-scale modeling of the Greenland Ice Sheet and investigating its present and future sensitivity to changes in surface mass balance.

  • BS, Cornell University: Computer Science and Science of Earth Systems (2000)
  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley: Department of Earth and Planetary Science (2011)

Research Interests
  • Climate Variation and Extremes
  • Ice Sheet Dynamic Sensitivity
  • Glaciology


ISSM (Ice and Sea-level System Model) is a state of the art ice flow modeling software developed at JPL in collaboration with University of California Irvine.

GRACE, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, provide measurements of the Earth’s gravity field, including the variability of ocean mass.

PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment) Icon PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment)
Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment (PREFIRE) will quantify the radiative processes effected by changing temperatures in the Arctic.

ISMIP6 (Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Model for CMIP6) is the primary activity within the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project – phase 6 (CMIP6) focusing on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

Ice sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE)
IMBIE is a collaboration between scientists supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and contributes to assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Professional Experience
  • UCLA Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering (JIFRESSE) Assistant Researcher (2014-2017)
  • Caltech/JPL Postdoctoral Researcher (2011-2014)
  • Graduate Student Instructor, University of California, Berkeley, including Lead Graduate Student Instructor for Introduction to Earth Science (2005-2011)
  • Graduate Student Researcher, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2004-2010)
  • Software Engineer and Group Lead, Raytheon Company (2000-2003)

Selected Publications
  1. Cuzzone, J. K., Morlighem, M., Larour, E., Schlegel, N., and Seroussi, H.: Implementation of higher-order vertical finite elements in ISSM v4.13. for improved ice sheet flow modeling over paleoclimate timescales, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.,, accepted, 2018.
  2. Haubner, K., Box, J. E., Schlegel, N. J., Larour, E. Y., Morlighem, M., Solgaard, A. M., Kjellerup, K. K., Larsen, S. H., and Kjær, K. H.: Simulating ice thickness and velocity evolution of Upernavik Isstrøm 1849-2012 by forcing prescribed terminus positions in ISSM, The Cryosphere Discuss.,, accepted, 2017.
  3. Goelzer, H., Nowicki, S., Edwards, T., Beckley, M., Abe-Ouchi, A., Aschwanden, A., Calov, R., Gagliardini, O., Gillet-Chaulet, F., Golledge, N. R., Gregory, J., Greve, R., Humbert, A., Huybrechts, P., Kennedy, J. H., Larour, E., Lipscomb, W. H., Le clec´h, S., Lee, V., Morlighem, M., Pattyn, F., Payne, A. J., Rodehacke, C., Rückamp, M., Saito, F., Schlegel, N., Seroussi, H., Shepherd, A., Sun, S., van de Wal, R., and Ziemen, F. A.: Design and results of the ice sheet model initialisation experiments initMIP-Greenland: an ISMIP6 intercomparison, The Cryosphere Discuss.,, accepted, 2017.
  4. Alexander, P. M., Tedesco, M., Schlegel, N.-J., Luthcke, S. B., Fettweis, X., and Larour, E.: Greenland Ice Sheet seasonal and spatial mass variability from model simulations and GRACE (2003-2012), The Cryosphere, 10, 1259-1277,, 2016.
  5. N.-J. Schlegel, D.N. Wiese, E. Larour, M.M. Watkins, J.E. Box, X. Fettweis, X., and M. R. van den Broeke, 2016, Application of GRACE to the evaluation of an ice flow model of the Greenland Ice Sheet, The Cryosphere, 10, 1965-1989, doi:10.5194/tc-10-1965-2016.
  6. E. Larour and N. Schlegel, 2016, ISSM in the Cloud: how to improve uncertainty quantification of ice-sheet mass balance projections, Comput. Geosci., 96, doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2016.08.007.
  7. N.-J. Schlegel, E. Larour, H. Seroussi, M. Morlighem and J.E. Box, Ice discharge uncertainties in Northeast Greenland from boundary conditions and climate forcing of an ice flow model, J. Geophys. Res., 120, 29-54, doi:10.1002/2014JF003359.
  8. N-J. Schlegel, E Larour, H Seroussi, M. Morlighem, and J. E. Box, Decadal-scale sensitivity of northeast Greenland ice flow to errors in surface mass balance using ISSM, J. Geophys. Res. - Earth Surface, 118, doi: 10.1002/jgrf.20062.
  9. Jin, J., Miller, N.L., N.J. Schlegel, 2010, Sensitivity Study of Four Land Surface Schemes in the WRF Model, Advances in Meteorology, vol. 2010, Article ID 167436, doi:10.1155/2010/167436.
  10. Miller, N.L. and N.J. Schlegel, 2006. Climate change projected fire weather sensitivity: California Santa Ana wind occurrence. Geophysical Research Letters. 33, L15711, doi:101029/2006GL25808.

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