The John F. Nye Lecture Series

The John F. Nye Lecture honors the work of cryospheric science pioneer, John F. Nye. This  named lecture is presented annually during the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco. The Nye Lecturer is selected based on highlighting and recognizing an outstanding cryospheric scientist and her/his recent accomplishments as well as the individual’s ability to present exciting science to the non-cryosphere community of AGU scientists.

For more information about award qualifications and nominating instructions for the Nye Lecturer, go to:


2016: Dr. Christina Hulbe
Lecture scheduled for Tuesday 13 December, 2016

2015: Dr. Eric Rignot
Ice Sheet Systems and Sea Level Change (Tuesday 15 December, 2015)

2014: Dr. Jim White
Abrupt Climate Change: The View from the Past, the Present, and the Future
(link to the move of lecture)

2013: Dr. Douglas MacAyeal
The Joy of Ice

2012: Dr. Elizabeth Moris
“Hot ice & wondrous strange snow”: three-phase mixtures or something more?
(link to movie of lecture)

2011: Dr. W. Tad Pfeffer
We Are All Engineers Now: Delivering Useful Projections Of Sea Level Rise
(link to movie of lecture)

2010: Dr. Jeff Dozier
Mountain Hydrology, The Fourth Paradigm, and the Color of Snow
(link to movie of lecture)

2009: Dr. Larry Hinzman
Arctic Hydrology and the Role of Feedbacks in the Climate System
(link to movie of lecture)

2008: Dr. Mary Albert
Polar Science in Time of Rapid Change
(link to movie of lecture)

2007: Dr. Mark Serreze
Arctic Climate Change: Where Reality Exceeds Expectations
(link to movie of lecture)

2006: Dr. Garry Clarke
Water Under Ice: Curiosities, Complexities, and Catastrophes
(link to movie of lecture)

2005: Dr. Matthew Sturm
Snow Crystals, Shrubs, and the Changing Climate of the Arctic
(link to movie of lecture)

2004: Dr. Richard Alley
We’re All Glaciologists Now: Ice in the Climate System
(link to movie of lecture)

2003: Dr. Kurt Cuffey
Stable Isotopes in Ice: Tracers of the Global Environment

2002: Dr. Robert Bindschadler
Consider an Ice Stream
(link to movie of lecture)



John F. Nye is a cryospheric science pioneer; currently professor emeritus in physics at the University of Bristol, in the UK. Nye planted intellectual seeds widely on topics in their infancy. Nye developed a new theory in the early 1950s that ice deformed irrecoverably. Nye applied this new ice rheology theory with success in predicting glacier behavior, including a new science of glacier surging. What is today commonly referred to as Glen’s flow law is more appropriately named the Glen-Nye flow law; and remains in widespread use. Nye studied water flow in ice more than 50 years ago, a topic receiving critical attention today as melt water is now widely recognized as providing a rapid response mechanism of land ice to climate warming. Nye made other pioneering work investigating dynamics at the bed of glaciers. So-called, Nye-channels are those forming in the glacier bed, in contrast to Röthlisburger channels that form in the overlying ice.

(from Jason Box’s introduction to the 2008 Nye Lecture)