Caitlyn Florentine

Caitlyn Florentine

PhD Candidate

Office: ISB, 4th Floor
Email: caitlyn.florentine@umontana.edu

Current Position

Research Assistant (University of Montana, Group for Quantitative Study of Snow and Ice: QSSI)

Personal Summary

Growing up in the suburbs of Boulder, Colorado, I knew that as an adult I would end up somewhere more rural or somewhere more urban, and definitely somewhere with mountains. I chose the rural end-member and could not be happier for it. Montana is a beautiful, wide open, mountainous place to call home. I moved to Bozeman, Montana in 2008 for a master's degree after a year in Vail, Colorado of post-baccalaureate ski town fun and work at a K-12 school. Missoula became my home in the fall of 2013 when I started this PhD in glaciology with Dr. Joel Harper and the UM Group for Quantitative Study of Snow and Ice.

Our interdisciplinary research group employs computer science and geoscience to study the physics of snow and ice, combining field and remotely-sensed data with numerical analysis and computer simulations. Field work involves a few weeks each summer on the Greenland ice sheet drilling and instrumenting boreholes to the bed. It is exciting work in a beautiful, fascinating landscape.

Ice penetrating radar data from ground and airborne surveys provide images of the ice subsurface. My dissertation research integrates these radar data and computer simulations of ice flow to constrain our understanding of climate-ice interactions and ice flow physics of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

I am also working with scientists at Glacier National Park (GNP) to synthesize snow and glacier field data previously collected by Joel and collaborators on Sperry Glacier, GNP, Montana. I got my start in ice geophyics studying the Lone Peak rock glacier located on Big Sky ski resort property in southwest Montana.


M.S., Earth Sciences (2011, Montana State University)

B.A., Geology (2007, Colorado College)


Research Interests

Ice dynamics; cryospheric processes; alpine and arctic environments; snow hydrology; ice geophysics; rock glaciers



Internal and surface constraints on glacier dynamics from radar and mass balance measurements (Dissertation Research)

Stability and Variation of Land Ice (SVALI) Subglacial Hydrology Workshop (10 days, Reykjavik, Iceland, August 2013)

University of Alaska Glaciology Summer School (10 days, McCarthy, Alaska, August 2014)




Journal Articles

Florentine, C., Skidmore, M., Speece, M., Link, C., Shaw, C. 2013. Surface morphology and internal deformation at Lone Peak rock glacier, Big Sky, Montana, USA. Journal of Glaciology 60, 453-462.

Talks and Posters

Florentine, C. 2015. Steady state ablation rates derived from radiostratigraphy. Northwest Glaciologists' Meeting, Portland State University.

Florentine, C. 2015. Bedrock trough effects on ice sheet flow constrained by NASA airborne and satellite dta, in situ data, and numerical modeling. NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competititve Research (EPSCoR) National Caucus Meeting. Washington, D.C.

Florentine, C., Skidmore, M., Montross, S. 2010. Rock glacier ice as a microbial habitat. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2010, abstract #B13C-0496.

Florentine, C., Skidmore, M., Speece, M., Link, C., Shaw, C., Kaphammer, B., Giskaas, J. 2009. Geophysical investigation of Lone Mountain rock glacier, Big Sky, Montana. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2009, abstract #C23C-0506.

Florentine, C. 2009. Investigating rock glacier ice as a potential paleoclimate archive and microbial habitat. Northwest Glaciologists' Meeting, University of Vancouver.



Teaching Experience

Surface Processes TA (2016, University of Montana, Department of Geosciences)

Bridges to Baccalaureate Instructor (2012, Montana State University, American Indian Research Opportunities)

Montana Apprenticeship Program Instructor (2011, Montana State University, American Indian Research Opportunities)

Environmental Geology TA (2009, Montana State University, Department of Earth Sciences)

Physical Geography TA (2009, Montana State University, Department of Earth Sciences)

Yellowstone as a Scientific Laboratory TA (2008, Montana State University, Department of Earth Sciences)



Professional Experience

Paleoecology Lab Manager (2011-2013, Montana State University, Department of Earth Sciences)

Snowboard Instructor (2011-2013, Big Sky Resort)

Research Assistant (2009-2011, Montana State University, Big Sky Institute)

Teaching Assistant (2008-2009, Montana State University, Department of Earth Sciences)

Administrative Assistant (2007-2008, Vail Montain School)

Administrative Assistant (2006, Flatirons Solutions)

Lab Technician (2003-2004, University of Colorado, Insitute of Arctic and Alpine Research)



International Experience

Field Campaign, Greenland (2015 and 2014, University of Montana)

Field Course, New Zealand (2007, Colorado College)

Habitat for Humanity, Mexico (2006, Colorado College)

Study Abroad, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil (2005, School for International Training)

Independent Study, Investigation and analysis of obstacles facing development of the wind energy industry in Patagonia (2005, School for International Training)




I like biking, skiing, soccer, trail running and yoga. I am also interested in promoting diversity in science and science outreach and education. Here are some links along those lines: