Brown University
PhD Candidate in Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Exp. June 2020. Advisor: Laurence C. Smith. Graduate Affiliate of the Institute at Brown for the Environment and Society

University of California, Los Angeles
PhD Student in Geography, 2016-2017. Advisor: Laurence C. Smith

University of Cambridge
MPhil with Distinction in Polar Studies, Scott Polar Research Institute, Sept. 2016. Advisor: Poul Christoffersen
Dissertation: A 16-year record of supraglacial lake extent in West Greenland: analysis of inland expansion and rapid drainage events

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
BS with Highest Honors and Highest Distinction in Geophysics, Math Minor, May 2015. 
Honors Thesis: Observing spatial and temporal patterns in river ice breakup with MODIS imagery

Honors and Awards

IBES Research, Travel and Training Grant, 2018
AGU Outstanding Student Paper Award - Cryosphere Division, 2017
Microsoft Azure AI for Earth Research Grant, 2017-2018
UCLA Canadian Studies Research Fellowship, 2017
Planet Labs Research Ambassador,  2017 - present
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2016-2019
Gates Cambridge Scholarship, 2015-2016
Op White Award - UNC Chancellor's Award for the Outstanding Senior in Geological Sciences, 2015
First Prize Undergraduate Presentation - UNC Anadarko Research Symposium, 2015
Phi Beta Kappa, 2014
Morehead-Cain Scholarship - Full merit-based scholarship and funded summer enrichment program, 2011-2015
National Merit Scholar, 2011-2015


In revision: Pitcher, L., T. Pavelsky, L. Smith, D. Moller, E. Altenau, G. Allen, C. Lion, D. Butman, S.W. Cooley, J. Fayne, and M. Bertram, AirSWOT InSAR mapping of surface water elevations and hydraulic gradients across the Yukon Flats Basin, Alaska, Water Resources Research

Cooper, M.G., J. Schaperow, S.W. Cooley, S. Alam, L.C. Smith, and D. Lettenmaier (2018), Climate elasticity of low flows in the maritime western US mountains, Water Resources Research, 54.

Cooper, M.G., L.C. Smith, A.K. Rennermalm, C. Miege, L.H. Pitcher, J.C. Ryan, K. Yang and S.W. Cooley (2018), Near surface meltwater storage in low-density bare ice of the Greenland ice sheet ablation zone, The Cryosphere, 12, 955-970.

Cooley, S.W., L.C. Smith, L. Stepan and J. Mascaro (2017), Tracking dynamic northern surface water changes with high frequency Planet CubeSat imagery, Remote Sensing, 9.

Cooley, S.W. and P. Christoffersen (2017), Observation bias correction reveals more rapidly draining lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet, Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface 122. 

Cooley, S.W. and T.M. Pavelsky (2016), Spatial and temporal patterns in Arctic river ice breakup revealed by automated ice detection using MODIS imagery, Remote Sensing of Environment 175, 310-322.

Poster: Cooley, S.W., L.C. Smith, L.H. Pitcher, T.M. Pavelsky and S.N. Topp, Tracking seasonal evolution of surface water extent in the Yukon Flats, Alaska and the Canadian Shield, NASA Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) Science Team Meeting, 2018, Seattle, Washington.

Oral: Cooley, S.W., L.C. Smith, L.H. Pitcher, T.M. Pavelsky and S.N. Topp, Tracking seasonal evolution of surface water extent in Central Alaska and the Canadian Shield, AGU Fall Meeting, 2017, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Oral: Cooley, S.W. and P. Christoffersen, Characterizing the frequency and elevation extent of rapid drainage events in West Greenland, AGU Fall Meeting 2016, San Francisco, California. 

Poster: Cooley, S.W. and T.M. Pavelsky, Spatial and temporal patterns in Arctic river ice breakup revealed by automated ice detection from MODIS imagery, EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria.


Northwest Territories and Alaska 2017 – Fieldwork performed as part of NASA ABoVE and NASA AirSWOT studying the relationship between surface water elevation and permafrost thaw

Greenland 2016 – Six weeks studying the seasonal evolution of the surface hydrology of the ice sheet margin outside Kangerlussuaq

Alaska 2013 – Participant in the Juneau Icefield Research Program. Conducted independent research on surface strain rates on Taku Glacier


Selected Workshops and Training

NASA Inundation Extent Workshop - Boulder, Colorado, May 22-23, 2018

Sentinel North International Arctic Field School - Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada, March 1-9, 2018. One of 20 PhD students from around the world selected to attend

NASA Earth-to-Sky Climate Science Communication Conference, Yellowknife, NWT, April 2017
Arctic Hydrology Presenter, Panelist

Mount Rainier National Park, Paradise, WA, June-September 2015
Geoscientist-in-the-Park (Interpretation Division)

UNC Department of Geological Sciences, Chapel Hill, NC Fall 2012, Fall 2014
Geology 72H Teaching Assistant

UNC Office for Undergraduate Research, Chapel Hill, NC 2014-2015
Undergraduate Research Ambassador

Teaching and Outreach