Northern Change Research Laboratory

Who We Are & What We Do


Welcome to the Northern Change Research Laboratory at Brown University. Our research examines current trends and changes in the northern high latitudes using cutting-edge geospatial remote sensing, computational modeling, and field studies. Past and current projects include work in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and the Russian Federation, as well as numerous pan-Arctic and continental scale studies.

Led by University Professor Laurence C. Smith in the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences (DEEPS) and Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES), the Northern Change Research Laboratory offers an exciting and inclusive environment for graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and undergraduates seeking to study physical, environmental, and societal changes now underway in one of the most rapidly transforming regions on Earth.

Research Areas

Arctic-Boreal Rivers,

Wetlands, and Lakes

Remote North American Arctic and sub-Arctic landscapes contain the greatest abundance of surface water bodies on Earth. Despite their importance to global carbon and water cycles, ecosystems, and human activities most receive little to no study…

Meltwater Runoff from the

Greenland Ice Sheet

Meltwater runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet is a major contributor to global sea level rise. Our team pioneered the use of extreme field campaigns and remote sensing to quantify the production and transport of meltwater flowing across its surface…

Three-Dimensional Remote

Sensing of Surface Water

Surface hydrology studies traditionally use remote sensing to map the extents of water bodies and their areal changes over time. However, advancing satellite technology now enables estimation of water surface elevations, river discharge, and their variations…

Sustainable Arctic Policy

and Development

Climatic and physical changes now underway in the northern high latitudes are colliding with economic, cultural, political, and historical legacies of the region. The Arctic, in particular, is home to some 4 million people and >$230B economy, long under the jurisdiction of eight sovereign nations (Russia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland/Denmark, Canada and the United States) and…

Our Office

Northern Change Research Laboratory
Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES)
Brown University
Box 1951
85 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912

Contact Us

(401) 863-3449