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2020 Award Winner

The 2020 WDS Data Stewardship Award was won by

Dr Ethan Welty
(Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, USA

Dr Welty will be presented with the 2020 Award and a prize at SciDataCon 2021.

Ethan Welty


Ethan Welty is a glaciologist specializing in the analysis of glacier time-lapse photographs. He also works as a scientific data and software consultant for organizations such as the Cascadia Field Station of the United States Geological Survey, Catalyst Cooperative, and the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS, WDS Regular Member).

For the WGMS, Ethan spearheaded the effort to assemble, clean, and document version 3 of the global Glacier Thickness Database (GlaThiDa)—a major advance in the compilation of glacier ice thickness observations, which are fundamental to glacier monitoring and research. In the process, he established a continuous development environment for GlaThiDa to automatically record and verify edits and additions to the dataset as it changes over time. The environment is based on open-source metadata formats and software tools, and is described in

Ethan draws on data science as co-founder and director of Falling Fruit, a nonprofit organization mapping edible plants to promote urban foraging in cities worldwide. He is also a professional photographer and an enthusiastic explorer of mountainous and riverine landscapes.