Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Alice F. Hill

Research Interests

Alice studies mountain hydrology in remote, and often unstudied, regions. She combines remotely sensed image processing techniques with targeted field data collection to clarify the key hydrologic processes that impact water supply for people, crops and hydropower downstream.  Alice's research is motivated by 1) conservation and sustainable development of globally important river systems and 2) the potential for water vulnerabilities to areas downstream of melt-dominated source waters in the context of a warming world.  As a post doctoral researcher with the CHARIS project at National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), her work is focused on the Aral Sea basin of Central Asia whose headwaters are home to the longest glacier in the world outside of the polar region.  Alice is also heavily involved in conservation science in the Peruvian headwater stems of the Amazon River, and has a longtime personal interest in the unstudied rivers draining the Patagonian icefields and New Zealand's Southern Alps.  The common thread to all of her research interests?   Rapidly evolving river systems, and the impact of change on important environmental resources and downstream communities.


filter_clip.jpg Filtering samples collected in the Kara-Batkak glacier basin, Tien Shan mountains, Kyrgyzstan
Alice works with small group leadership team to negotiate a plan to descend steep glacial pass_Gulkana Glacier_Alaska Range_photo credit Christian martin.jpg Alice works with small group leadership team to negotiate a plan to descend steep glacial pass, Gulkana Glacier, Alaska Range
deep-soddie-pit-copy.jpg Weekly snow pit data collection on Niwot Ridge, Colorado provides critical snow depth, density and layering information that relates to the amount of water stored in the snow pack. This water eventually provides downstream areas with summer water supply.


Honors and Awards

  • Fulbright scholar, awarded for 2019
  • Nature, Environment, Science and Technology (NEST) Science-Arts fellowship, 2018
  • CUAHSI Pathfinder fellowship, 2017

View Publications

  • Rittger, K; Raleigh, MS; Dozier, J; Hill, AF; Lutz, JA; Painter, TH. (Jun 2020). Canopy Adjustment and Improved Cloud Detection for Remotely Sensed Snow Cover Mapping. WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH , 56(6). 10.1029/2019WR024914
  • Hill, AF; Rittger, K; Dendup, T; Tshering, D; Painter, TH. (Mar 2020). How Important Is Meltwater to the Chamkhar Chhu Headwaters of the Brahmaputra River?. FRONTIERS IN EARTH SCIENCE , 8. 10.3389/feart.2020.00081
  • Tshering, D; Dendup, T; Miller, HA; Hill, AF; Wilson, AM. (Jan 2020). Seasonal source water and flow path insights from a year of sampling in the Chamkhar Chhu basin of Central Bhutan. ARCTIC ANTARCTIC AND ALPINE RESEARCH , 52(1). 10.1080/15230430.2020.1743148