Susan L. Howard

Research Associate
Outreach Coordinator
Corporate Secretary

1107 NE 45th St., Suite 320
Seattle, WA. 98105-4656, USA

email: showard (at)

Research focus: Polar oceanography and glaciology, focusing on ocean, sea ice, and ice shelf interactions

Susan Howard joined ESR in 1997 after earning her Master’s degree in Oceanography from Oregon State University.  Her research focuses on the polar regions, where she uses a combination of numerical models, satellite data, and ocean measurements to study the ocean, sea ice, and ice shelf interactions.  She has been involved in fieldwork in the Antarctic as part the Southern Ocean GLOBEC (2001) and ROSETTA-Ice (2017) projects.

From 2008 – 2012, she had a brief absence from ESR and oceanography when she moved to New Zealand and worked as a physical simulation developer in the Visual FX industry.  She worked on Avatar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Adventures of Tintin, and the Hobbit.  Although a great experience, she happily returned to ESR and Seattle in 2012 to continue her work in the polar oceans.

Susan is also involved in a variety of educational outreach opportunities and enjoys sparking kids’ interest in the ocean.  She has developed the popular Density and the Oceans STEM exhibit as well as a series of talks on atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns and climate for middle school students.  She continues to look for new ways to be involved in STEM outreach.

In her free time, she enjoys gardening, hiking, and spending time with her wonderful daughter.


B.A.(1993)Rutgers University (Mathematics).
M.S.(1997)Oregon State University (Oceanography).

Photos from field work

The front of the Ross Ice Shelf

Antarctic Fieldwork

Antarctic Research Cruises

For more great photos from ESR fieldwork, check out our Photos page.


For more information, see Susan Howard on Google Scholar


Becker, M. K., Howard, S. L., Fricker, H. A., Padman, L., Mosbeux, C., & Siegfried, M. R. (2021). Buoyancy‐driven flexure at the front of Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, observed with ICESat‐2 laser altimetry. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2020GL091207.
Journal Version

K. J. Tinto, L. Padman, C. S. Siddoway, S. R. Springer, H. A. Fricker, I. Das, F. Caratori Tontini, D. F. Porter, N. P. Frearson, S. L. Howard, M. R. Siegfried, C. Mosbeux, M. K. Becker, C. Bertinato, A. Boghosian, N. Brady, B. L. Burton, W. Chu, S. I. Cordero, T. Dhakal, L. Dong, C. D. Gustafson, S. Keeshin, C. Locke, A. Lockett, G. O’Brien, J. J. Spergel, S. E. Starke, M. Tankersley, M. G. Wearing, R. E. Bell (2019),  Ross Ice Shelf response to climate driven by the tectonic imprint on seafloor bathymetry, Nature Geoscience,
Journal Version

Mueller, R. D., T. Hattermann, S. L. Howard, and L. Padman (2018), Tidal influences on a future evolution of the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf cavity in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, The Cryosphere, 12(2),
Journal Version

Paolo, F. S.,  L. Padman, H. A. Fricker, S. Adusumilli, S. Howard, M. R. Siegfried (2018), Response of Pacific-sector Antarctic ice shelves to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, Nature Geoscience,
Journal Version

Marques, G. M., L. Padman, S. R. Springer, S. L. Howard, and T. M. Özgökmen (2014), Topographic vorticity waves forced by Antarctic dense shelf water outflows, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 1247-1254,
Journal Version

Padman, L., S. L. Howard, A. Orsi, and R. Muench, 2009. Tides of the northwestern Ross Sea and their impact on dense outflows of Antarctic Bottom Water, Deep-Sea Res. II, 56, 818-834,
Journal Version

Padman, L., S. Howard, and R. Muench, 2006. Internal tide generation along the South Scotia Ridge. Deep-Sea Research II, 53, 157-171,
Journal Version

Howard, S. L., J. Hyatt, and L. Padman, 2004. Mixing in the pycnocline over the western Antarctic Peninsula Shelf during Southern Ocean GLOBEC, Deep Sea Res. II, 51, 1965,
Journal Version

Klinck J. M., E. E. Hofmann, R.C. Beardsley, B. Salihoglu, and S. Howard, 2004. Water-mass properties and circulation on the west Antarctic Peninsula Continental Shelf in Austral Fall and Winter 2001, Deep Sea Res. II, 51, 1925,
Journal Version

Padman, L., H. A. Fricker, R. Coleman, S. Howard, and S. Erofeeva, 2002: A new tidal model for the Antarctic ice shelves and seas, Ann. Glaciol., 34, 247-254.
Journal version

Muench, R. D., L. Padman, S. L. Howard, and E. Fahrbach, 2002. Upper ocean diapycnal mixing in the northwestern Weddell Sea, Deep Sea
Res. II
, 49, 4843-4861.

Howard, S. L., 1997. Tide-related mixing in the eastern Arctic Ocean, M.S. thesis, 120 pp., Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.