Jessica Scheick

Jessica XC Ski

Jessica Scheick

Dr. Jessica Scheick’s work focuses on glaciology, remote sensing, and collaborative development. Her glaciology work explores ice-ocean interactions, specifically focusing on icebergs and what they can tell us about glacier flow and how that flow is changing as a result of climate change. Broadly, her research emphasizes building community, writing software, and educating her fellow scientists in open science best practices.

Jessica earned her A.B. from Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in geology and mathematics, fell in love with fieldwork, and gained confidence as a woman in STEM. A couple of years in environmental consulting gave her field leadership skills and experience and solidified her love of glaciers as a field of study. She went on to earn her PhD at the University of Maine, where she was fortunate to conduct field research on glaciers and ice sheets around the world. During a six week internship in Greenland, locals shared their lifelong observations about their icy environments. This ultimately led to one of her dissertation

Jessica Ilulissat

Icebergs (calved from Sermeq Kujalleq, briefly known as Jakobshavn Isbrae) in Ilulissat Icefjord at the mouth of Disko Bay near Ilulissat, Greenland.

chapters building automated methods to detect icebergs in remote sensing datasets. She continues to focus on utilizing the vast archive of large, scientific datasets to investigate icebergs and conduct fair, accessible, interoperable, and reproducible (FAIR) science.

In 2019, while attending her second hackweek, she started a Python software library and community called icepyx. The library began as an effort to encourage glaciologists to share and collaborate on code for the then-recently launched ICESat-2 mission to reduce the amount of (duplicated) time and effort researchers put towards basic tasks like data access and pre-processing. The community now includes many non-cryosphere ICESat-2 data users and provides a safe, supportive space for scientists to share and learn best practices for collaborative development and sharing code, working alongside other data users and data managers.
Currently at the University of New Hampshire, Jessica is also a member of the University of Washington eScience Institute’s Hackweeks-as-a-Service team. At UNH, she works with her Institute’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion group to promote retention of minority scientists. Her current initiatives include working with a team on an interactive map of inclusivity supports and resources (both on and off campus), including BIPOC serving and Tidewater Glacierowned businesses, and developing templates and training to establish mandatory Field Safety Plans for all University affiliated fieldwork. The safety plans include anti-bias training and aim to make fieldwork a safe space for all participants. With UW, Jessica helps organize and run hackweek events to provide training and help researchers build applied skills in open science and data-intensive contexts.
Jessica is also a part-time homesteader, keeping chickens and growing (and preserving) a large garden each year. In her free time, she enjoys building and creating items for around the farm, dancing, wishing it were snowing so she could ski, spending time with her partner and family, and being outside [in the winter]. Her advice for her younger self is to assess what’s really important to you and build your career and work-life balance around those values, find people who build you up, and find the confidence to write your own success story.