Rachel W. Obbard
Assistant Professor of Engineering
Assistant Professor of Engineering1-603-646-9613
Rachel Obbard studied engineering physics at the Colorado School of Mines (B.Sc.), earned her M.Sc. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of New Hampshire, and earned her Ph.D. in Engineering with a concentration in Materials Science at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England and returned to Thayer in January 2009. Professor Obbard is interested in all aspects of materials science, but especially in the study of natural ice in the Polar Regions and in materials in sports equipment and in cultural heritage. A certified AASI snowboard instructor, Professor Obbard developed and teaches ENGS 8, Materials in Sports Equipment.
- B.S., Engineering Physics, Colorado School of Mines 1985
- M.S., Materials Science and Engineering, University of New Hampshire 2002
- Ph.D., Engineering Sciences, Dartmouth College 2006
Materials science; ice and snow microstructure, microstructure and structural glaciology; porous materials, sea ice, air-snow-ice-ocean physicochemical interactions; materials in sports equipment; materials in cultural heritage; nanostructured thin films; micro-computed tomography; scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), synchrotron X-ray micro fluorescence, Raman spectroscopy; women in science
Current Research Projects
- Evolution of glacier microstructure
- Microstructure of porous solids: Sea ice
- Physics of polar snow and firn
- Sea-ice-snow-air physiochemical interactions
- The effects of soluble impurities of the flow and fabric of polycrystalline ice
- ENGS 8: Materials in Sports Equipment
- X-ray computed microtomography of sea ice. R. Obbard. Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 15, 13167-13171, 2015.
- The role of blowing snow in the activation of bromine over first-year Antarctic sea ice. R. M. Lieb-Lappen and R. W. Obbard. Atmos. Chem. Phy. Discuss. 15, 11985-12005, 2015.
- Global warming releases microplastic legacy frozen in Arctic Sea Ice. R. Obbard, S. Sadri, Y.-Q. Wong, A. A. Khitun, I. Baker and R. C. Thompson. Earth's Future, June 2014, 2 (6), 315-320. doi: 10.1002/2014EF000240.
- Microstructural evolution in the fine-grained region of the Siple Dome ice core. R.W. Obbard, K.E. Sieg, I. Baker, and D. Meese (2011) Journal of Glaciology, 57 (206), 1046-1056.
- A scanning electron microscope technique for identifying the mineralogy of dust in ice cores. R.W. Obbard, I. Baker, D. Prior (2011) Journal of Glaciology, 57 (203), 511-514.
- Using borehole logging to orient an ice core from the Upper Fremont Glacier, Wyoming. R.W. Obbard, T. Cassano, K. Aho, G. Troderman, I. Baker (2011) Journal of Glaciology, 57 (205), 840-846.
- Imaging brine and air inclusions in sea ice using micro X-ray computed tomography. R.W. Obbard, G.Troderman, I. Baker (2009) Journal of Glaciology, 55 (194), 1113-1115.
- Frost flower surface area and chemistry as a function of salinity and temperature. R.W. Obbard, H.K. Roscoe, E.W. Wolff and H. Atkinson (2009) Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres) doi:10.1029/2009JD012481.
- The microstructure of meteoric ice from Vostok, Antarctica, R. Obbard, I. Baker and K. Sieg (2007) Journal of Glaciology, 53 (180), 41-62.
- Textural fingerprinting the seismic properties of flowing ice. G. E. Lloyd, G.W. Stuart, and R.W. Obbard (to be submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research)
- New shortwave infrared albedo measurements for snow specific surface area retrieval. B. Montpetit, A. Royer, A. Langlois, P. Cliche, A. Roy, N. Champollion N, G. Picard, F. Domine and R. Obbard. (2012) Journal of Glaciology, 58 (211). doi: 10.3189/2012JoG11j248.
- Insight into the phase transformations between Ice Ih and Ice II from EBSD data. D.J. Prior, S. Diebold, R. Obbard, C. Daghlian, D.L. Goldsby, W.H. Durham and I. Baker. (2012) Scripta Materialia, 66, 69-72.
- NSF Proposal Review Panel Member
- Symposium Co-organizer of Physics of Chemistry and Ice 2014 Conference
Microplastics found in waters off Svalbard
Alaska Dispatch News
October 13, 2015
Ice Research for Climate Clues Means Watching for Bears
September 26, 2014
Trillions of Tiny Plastic Pieces Reside in Arctic Ice
August 19, 2014
Arctic sea ice polluted with microplastics
May 30, 2014
How So Much Plastic Got Into the Frozen Arctic Sea
May 30, 2014
Trillions of Plastic Pieces May Be Trapped in Arctic Ice
May 22, 2014
What can baseball teach us?
New England Baseball Journal
December 13, 2012
In Dartmouth Engineer Magazine
Undergrads in the Lab
Dartmouth Team First to Transport Arctic Sea Ice at Original Temperature
Web Extra, April 2015
Q&A: Professor Obbard on Microplastics in Sea Ice
Web Extra, October 2014
Dartmouth Engineers Develop New Device for Climate Change Research
Web Extra, September 2014
Classroom: Materials in Sports Equipment
Unlocking a Sea Ice Secret: Bromide and Other Impurities in Snow and Sea Ice