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Kathy Welch

Kathy Welch is a Professional Research Assistant at the University of Colorado, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. Prior to moving to Colorado in 2017, Kathy worked at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at The Ohio State University.  Kathy works in the Antarctic as part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Ecological Research project (MCM-LTER) with a research focus on the aquatic geochemistry of glaciers, streams and lakes. 

Kathy has a life-long love of water, ice and cold places.  She grew up in New Hampshire and attended the University of New Hampshire.  As a graduate student, she spent three summers as a field team member on the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2, an ice-coring project carried out in central Greenland to recover a 250K-year record of atmosphere and precipitation chemistry and climate change.  Although she conducted field work in Greenland, her Master’s thesis research focused on the Newall Glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica.  In 1993, Kathy was offered a technician position with the MCM-LTER in its first year and has deployed to Antarctica every austral summer since then. 

Kathy has expertise in geochemistry and analytical chemistry.  As part of Berry Lyons’ research team at Ohio State, she gained extensive experience working with and managing a large-scale interdisciplinary environmental research project. Over the years she has been involved with the planning, preparation, organizing and reporting involved in managing and implementation of a large field-based research project. The best part of this job is to work with and train students and to help them to implement their research plan. 

Kathy has been known to travel to Antarctica with one handmade sweater and 4 knitting projects in her luggage.  She has spent 100 months in the polar regions, and is planning for her 27th trip to Antarctica. 

M. S. Earth Sciences, Geochemical Systems, University of New Hampshire, 1993
B. S. Geology, University of New Hampshire, 1985