David Shean

Assistant Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering


David Shean is an assistant professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington. His current research uses satellite, airborne, UAV, and terrestrial remote sensing observations to understand the Earth’s cryosphere.

David’s early research involved documenting past glaciation and evidence for climate change on Mars. He went on to work for Yellowstone National Park, where he studied dynamic hydrothermal features, and then Boston University, where he performed geophysical surveys of glaciers in the Transantarctic Mountains. From 2007-2011, David worked for Malin Space Science Systems as a member of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CTX/MARCI science operations team. David did his Ph.D. at the University of Washington (APL/ESS), documenting the evolution of ice-shelf basal melt and ice-stream dynamics in West Antarctica, with implications for future ice-sheet stability and sea-level rise.


  • Ph.D., Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, 2016
  • Sc.M., Geology, Brown University, 2006
  • Sc.B, Brown University, Geology-Physics/Mathematics, 2004