Assistant Professor


  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Assistant Professor
  • Concentration:

    • Geography
  • Department:

    • Anthropology and Geography
  • Education:

    • Ph.D. in Geography, University of California, Berkeley, California, 2011  M.S. in Geography, University of California, Berkeley, California, 2004  B.S. in Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 2001
  • Curriculum Vitae:


Dr. Bliss is a glaciologist and geographer who is interested in the interactions between glaciers, climate, and hydrology.

His current projects include: a global study of water runoff from glaciers and ice caps, the glacier mass balance and hydrology of the Susitna-Watana watershed in central Alaska, and a study of glacial runoff in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. As the climate is changing, glacier runoff will affect local water resources and global sea level. We project that glaciers worldwide will lose 30-40% of their volume by the year 2100 and that will cause global sea level to go up by 15 to 20 cm. Some regions will be more heavily affected than others, with >80% glacier loss in Central Europe, low-latitude South America, the Caucasus, North Asia, Western Canada, and the continental US. Both local and global changes to the water cycle will profoundly impact humanity.

Prior work included: compilation of an inventory of glaciers around the periphery of Antarctica, as part of a global inventory of mountain glaciers. Dr. Bliss's dissertation research found a unique pattern of ablation on Taylor Glacier, Antarctica and successfully modeled the ablation as a function of temperature and wind speed. He was also involved with an earlier project studying huge icebergs that broke away from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. We installed weather stations and GPS tracking devices on the icebergs to better understand how and why they move and the changes they underwent as they moved to a warmer climate north of their original locations.

Dr. Bliss uses a variety of techniques in his research, such as glacier modeling, hydrological modeling, weather station measurements, glacier mass balance fieldwork, GPS, geographic information systems, and photogrammetry.

Other research interests include geomorphology and climatology. His hobbies include hiking, biking, skiing, and photography.


Projecting future glacier mass balance on regional and global scales; global sea level rise; effects of glacier changes on local hydrology; present state of glaciers on the Antarctic periphery; glaciology; climatology; hydrology; geomorphology

Information and pictures of places Dr. Bliss has visited


Pfeffer, W.T., A. Arendt, A. Bliss, T. Bolch, G. Cogley, A. Gardner, J.-O. Hagen, R. Hock, G. Kaser, C. Kienholz, E. Miles, G. Moholdt, N. Mölg, F. Paul, V. Radić, P. Rastner, B. Raup, J. Rich, and M. Sharp (2014) The Randolph Glacier Inventory: a globally complete inventory of glaciers. Journal of Glaciology 60(221):537-552.

Bliss, A., R. Hock, and V. Radić (2014) Global response of glacier runoff to twenty-first century climate change. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 119:717-730.

Radić, V., A. Bliss, A.C. Beedlow, R. Hock, E. Miles, and J. Graham Cogley (2013) Regional and global projections of twenty-first century glacier mass changes in response to climate scenarios from global climate models. Climate Dynamics 42:1-22.

Bliss, A., R. Hock, and J. Graham Cogley (2013) A new inventory of mountain glaciers and ice caps for the Antarctic periphery. Annals of Glaciology 54(63):191-199.


  • GR100, Introduction to Geography

  • GR315, Quantitative Geographical Methods

  • GR350, Geography of Colorado

  • GR410, Climate Change: Science, Policy, Implications

  • GR444, Glaciology