Sonam Futi Sherpa

Dr. Sonam Futi Sherpa is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Earth,
Environment, and Planetary Sciences (DEEPS) and Institute at Brown for Environment and
Society (IBES) at Brown University. She is also a recipient of the National Science Foundation
(NSF), Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) Postdoctoral Fellowships, 2023. Her research interest is
in using novel remote sensing (radar and others) and machine learning tools to observe Earth
from space for hydrology, climate, and hazard implications. At Brown, Sonam is using SWOT
(Surface Water and Ocean Topography) satellite mission to observe water and proglacial
Prior to Brown, Sonam earned her Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from Department of Geosciences,
Virginia Tech (VT) where she focused her research on large-Scale water mapping, sea level rise,
and exposure utilizing big data from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Interferometric
Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and machine learning. Additionally, she has also worked on
Gravity data (GRACE/FO) to understand the association between changes in glacier mass and
climate seasonality in High Mountain Asia. At VT, she was NSF’s DRRM (Disaster Risk Resilience
and Management) Fellow and IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Climate
Sciences Fellow.
Sonam has a Master’s in science degree from Arizona State University and M.S. by research in
Glaciology degree from Kathmandu University, Nepal. Before coming to the USA, she worked at
Intergovernmental Organization known as the ICIMOD (International Center for Integrated
Mountain Development) as a Glaciologist, which worked to empower eight regional member
countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya – including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China,
India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan.



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