Image: Science Instructor Derek MuellerDerek Mueller
IPY Postdoctoral Researcher
UAF Geophysical Institute

Derek got his start in polar research during his BSc measuring the mass balance of an Arctic glacier. He then worked for the Polar Continental Shelf Project (Canada’s Arctic scientific logistics agency) in various capacities. He returned to glaciology for his MSc research and compared the biology of a glacier in the Arctic and another glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Derek’s PhD research examined physical and ecological aspects of ecosystems on ice shelves found along the northern coast of Ellesmere Island at the northern tip of Canada. In 2002, Derek discovered that the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf had split into 2 halves and that a massive freshwater lake that was retained behind the shelf drained into the Arctic Ocean. Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher at the Geophysical Institute (supervised by Martin Jeffries) where he is using remote sensing to learn more about how climate change is impacting northern ice shelves.

From Mueller: "My most influential teachers have been encouraging while challenging me intellectually. I think that good teachers don’t have all the answers; instead they spawn more questions and help their students solve problems creatively."

Mueller served as a STEP Science Instructor in 2007, when the featured topic was Climate Change.