Anna Liljedahl

page last updated: 17 July 2014

Anna in the field in the snow


Anna K. Liljedahl Water and Environmental Research Center University of Alaska Fairbanks PO Box 755860, Fairbanks, Ak 99775-5860 (907)474-1951 (907)474-7041 fax Complete CV

Links to Project Pages

Education/Professional Preparation

  • Umea University, Sweden Earth Science/Physical Geography, M.S. 2005
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks Hydrology, Ph.D., 2011


  • 2011-Present: Research Assistant Professor Water and Environmental Research Center (WERC) and International Arctic Research Center (IARC), UAF
  • 2011-Present: Associated Faculty College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, UAF
  • 2004-2011: Research Assistant Institute of Northern Engineering and IARC, UAF

Selected Publications

Link to Scholar Citation Page

Current or Recent Research Projects

2013-2016: What role to glaciers play in subarctic terrestrial hydrology? (NSF, $844,600)

PI. Collaborators: Regine Hock, Alessio Gusmeroli (UAF), Thomas Douglas (CRREL), Jing Zhang (North Carolina State Univ.) A growing need exists to explore how the integrated glacier-permafrost-hydrology system will respond to a warming climate and especially, what role glaciers and permafrost play in lowland hydrology. In order to answer this question we are synthesizing a physically-based distributed model validated against field measurements including runoff, glacier melt, snow accumulation, groundwater levels, soil temperatures and geochemical signatures. Related Project Pages: Jarvis Creek Study

2012-2015: Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments – Arctic A researcher stands in<br />
an ice wedge polygon trough, Barrow, Alaska, during spring breakup in<br />
June 2012 Cathy Wilson, a collaborator from Los Alamos National Lab, stands in an ice wedge polygon trough, Barrow, Alaska, during spring breakup in June 2012. The Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) Arctic project is a large multi-institutional effort that aims to quantify the response of physical, ecological, and biogeochemical processes to climatic change from the sub-meter to pan-Arctic scales. By using observations and models, the larger NGEE effort focuses on developing a powerful models that can merge multiple scales and processes in order to elucidate feedbacks to the various sub-systems.

2011-2014: Addressing the impacts of climate change on U.S. Army Alaska with decision support tools developed through field work and modeling (SERDP-DOD), $1,790,000

Co-I. Collaborators: Thomas Douglas, CRREL (PI), Torre Jorgenson, Alaska Ecoscience, Sergei Marchenko, UAF, Charles Downer and Nawa Pradhan, Coastal Hydraulics Laboratory. The Department of Defense uses 1.5 million acres for military training in the Alaska Interior. Permafrost is anticipated to degrade in many areas of interior Alaska, which will dramatically affect surface hydrologic, soil and vegetation regimes. The overall objective is to develop a Geographic Information Systems decision support system, which will provide U.S. Army Alaska land and facilities managers tangible information to help make decisions regarding where, when, and how to develop future training and installation management plans. The UAF team works closely with CHL to link an existing hydrologic (GSSHA) and thermal (GIPL) model using the CPCRW watershed as a test basin. Climate projections will force the linked GSSHA-GIPL model to generate permafrost and hydrology responses to climate warming. Related Project Pages: Jarvis Creek Study

2012-2015: Predicting climate impacts and feedbacks in the terrestrial Arctic (DOE)

Scott Painter, LANL (PI), Cathy Wilson (Co-PI), Larry Hinzman (UAF lead) The project address one of the most critical questions in contemporary climate science: Will a warming terrestrial Arctic provide a net positive or negative feedback to the climate system? We propose to develop the first predictions of the future Arctic carbon cycle that include topographic reorganization in a thawing, deforming landscape. To achieve this goal, we will develop an advanced Arctic Terrestrial Simulator (ATS) for modeling the complex interactions among thermal, mechanical, biogeochemical, ecological and hydrologic permafrost processes. My contribution is to a) compile field data and model parameters for algorithm development and model validation and b) assist in designing a series of synthetic experiments to test key hypotheses and establish quantitative links between processes.

2012-2013: Future glacier and runoff changes in the Susitna drainage basin (Alaska Energy Authority, AEA), $50,000 UAF budget

Co-I. Collaborators: Gabriel Wolken (PI), Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, Alaska Dept. Natural Resources and Regine Hock, UAF (Co-PI). Installation of weather station at 5000ft elevation in the Susitna River basin, Alaska Range Installation of weather station at 5000ft elevation in the Susitna River basin, Alaska Range, June 2012. Simulations of future changes in quantity and seasonality of river runoff are pertinent to any hydropower developments in order to secure economic operation. In light of the recent revival of the Susitna Hydroelectric Project to serve the region’s energy needs in the 21st century, we are conducting hydrologic modeling of the Upper Susitna drainage basin with particular focus on the effect of glacier wastage on streamflow. The modeling effort relies on two existing models. The glacier response will be simulated using the glacier melt and runoff model by Hock (1999), which is linked to the physically-based and spatially distributed hydrological model Water Balance Simulation Model, WASIM. The models are forced and validated by our and other’s field measurements (glacier mass balance, runoff etc) that ranges from 500 to over 2000 masl.

2012: Monitoring runoff in glaciated watersheds to assess groundwater recharge and flooding risks (WERC and National Institute for Water Resources/USGS), $20,500

PI. Collaborator: Anthony Arendt, UAF The project will support discharge monitoring efforts at two glaciated watersheds located in continental and maritime ecosystems in Alaska. The discharge measurements will be made at rivers draining glaciers on which mass balance monitoring efforts are implemented. At one site, Jarvis Creek, Delta Junction, which is located in the semi-arid interior Alaska, our discharge measurements will be used to aid assessments on how streamflow affect military training locations and groundwater recharge rates that are important to nearby farming activities. At another site, in maritime Valdez, our discharge measurements will be used to aid flood risk assessments under a range of future climate scenarios. The project supports a one semester Research Assistantship to graduate student Jennifer Davis during and the purchase of a StreamPro discharge monitoring instrument. Related Project Pages: Jarvis Creek Study

2012-2013: Estimating future flood frequency and magnitude in basins affected by glacier wastage (AK DOT&PF and AK University Transportation Center), $100,000

PI. Collaborators: Regine Hock (Co-I) Anthony Arendt (Co-I) GI, UAF and Gabriel Wolken (Co-I) DGGS. The purpose of the project is to develop estimates of future peak flow frequency and magnitude of glacially fed streams. Several major roads in Alaska cross streams that represent runoff from glacierized basins. Projections of glacier wastage under a warming climate show initial increases in glacier runoff, which can be substantial and exceed all other runoff components in a watershed. Accordingly, flood events may become more frequent and more severe. This project is needed to improve DOT&PF’s understanding of present and future possible hydrologic conditions in order to avoid damage to critical infrastructure and costly disruptions to Alaska’s transportation network. The project support one semester of Research Assistantship to graduate student Jenny Davis and meteorological stations to complement ongoing modeling studies at the Jarvis Creek (SERDP-DOD) and Upper Susitna basin (AEA). Related Project Pages: Jarvis Creek Study

Student Committees

  • Angelica Floyd, MSc Geology 2012 (Advisory Committee Co-Chair)
  • Jennifer Davis, MSc Geophysics 2014 (Advisory Committee Member)

Synergistic Activities

  • Past-President, American Water Resources Association – Alaska Section, 2013
  • President, American Water Resources Association – Alaska Section, 2012
  • Secretary, United States Permafrost Association, 2011-2012.
  • President-Elect, American Water Resources Association – Alaska Section, 2011
  • Co-Chair, Arctic Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Hydrology Working Group, 2011.
  • Board Member, Board of Directors, United States Permafrost Association, 2009-2010.
  • Executive Committee Member, Permafrost Young Researchers Network, 2009-2010.
  • Sub-committee Member, Barrow Environmental Observatory, 2009-2011.
  • Student representative, National Agency for Higher Education evaluation report of B. S., M.S. and Ph.D. programs in geosciences at Swedish Universities; National Agency for Higher Education Report 2004:13R, Stockholm, Sweden, 2002-2003.

Collaborations and Other Affiliations

Jeff Durham, Colin Bernard, Salcha-Delta Soil and Water Conservation District; Cathy Wilson, Jeff Heikoop, Los Alamos National Lab.; Stan Wullschleger, Gautam Bisht, Jitendra Kumar, Oak Ridge National Lab.; Susan Hubbard, Haruko Wainwright, Berkeley National Lab.; Alessio Gusmeroli IARC-UAF Thesis Advisors the last 5 years: Larry Hinzman (major advisor), Stuart F. Chapin, John Fox, Kenji Yoshikawa, Douglas Kane and Svetlana Stuefer, UAF.