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Emma "Mickey" MacKie

Assistant Professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Mickey MacKie uses geophysical observations and machine learning techniques to study the topography, geology and hydrology of glaciers.


Emma "Mickey" MacKie is an assistant professor in the Department of Geological Sciences. Her research focuses on using machine learning and geostatistical simulation methods to study the topographic and geologic characteristics of ice sheets. Mickey does field work in Svalbard and Greenland. She directs the Gator Glaciology Lab.

Areas of Expertise (8)

Cryosphere Research


Topography, geology and hydrology of Glaciers

Machine Learning


Geostatistical Simulation

Subglacial Conditions


Media Appearances (1)

Research on glaciers in Florida? Yes, and a UF professor is using machine learning to do so

WUFT  radio


Mickey MacKie, an assistant professor in the University of Florida’s Department of Geological Sciences, uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze data about glaciers and ice sheets to make predictions and interpretations at one UF’s newest labs.

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Articles (3)

Radiometric analysis of digitized Z-scope records in archival radar sounding film

Journal of Glaciology

Dustin M. Schroeder, et al.


The earliest airborne geophysical campaigns over Antarctica and Greenland in the 1960s and 1970s collected ice penetrating radar data on 35 mm optical film. Early subglacial topographic and englacial stratigraphic analyses of these data were foundational to the field of radioglaciology. Recent efforts to digitize and release these data have resulted in geometric and ice-thickness analysis that constrain subsurface change over multiple decades but stop short of radiometric interpretation.

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Stochastic modeling of subglacial topography exposes uncertainty in water routing at Jakobshavn Glacier

Journal of Glaciology

Emma J. MacKie, et al.


Subglacial topography is an important feature in numerous ice-sheet analyses and can drive the routing of water at the bed. Bed topography is primarily measured with ice-penetrating radar. Significant gaps, however, remain in data coverage that require interpolation. Topographic interpolations are typically made with kriging, as well as with mass conservation, where ice flow dynamics are used to constrain bed geometry.

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Antarctic Topographic Realizations and Geostatistical Modeling Used to Map Subglacial Lakes

Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface

E. J. MacKie, et al.


Antarctic subglacial lakes can play an important role in ice sheet dynamics, biology, geology, and oceanography, but it is difficult to definitively constrain their character and locations. Subglacial lake locations are related to factors including heat flux, ice surface slope, ice thickness, and bed topography, though these relationships are not fully quantified. Bed topography is particularly important for determining where water flows and accumulates, but digital elevation models of the ice sheet bed rely on interpolation and are unrealistically smooth, biasing estimates of subglacial lake location and surface area.

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Mickey MacKie in the field loading image Mickey MacKie fieldwork loading image Mickey MacKie loading image



Studying glaciers . . . from Florida