The award by the World Data System is related to a collaboration of Ethan Welty with the WGMS. Ethan's sound knowledge in glaciology and information technology and his personal commitment allowed the release of a new version of the Glacier Thickness Database.
This marks a major advance in data compilation and documentation and will serve the glaciological community to better address one of its grand challenges, estimating the total volume of all glaciers on Earth. The database structure, including open-source metadata formats and related software tools, is described in the related paper Worldwide version-controlled database of glacier thickness observations.
Ethan Welty is a geographer and environmental scientist at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research in Boulder, CO, USA. He earned degrees in physics and mathematical biology at the University of Washington and did a PhD at the University of Colorado studying tidewater glacier dynamics by reconstructing glacier geometry and motion from stereo and time-lapse photography. In addition, he is a passionate photographer.