Katey Walter Anthony

  • Aquatic Ecosystem Ecologist / Assistant Professor
  • Water and Environmental Research Center (WERC)
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • PO Box 755860
  • Fairbanks, AK 99775-5860
  • Phone: (907) 474-6095
  • kmwalteranthony@alaska.edu
Lab Group
Grants, Scholarships and Awards


Pan Arctic Lake Ice Methane Monitoring Network (PALIMMN)

During the International Polar Year, Walter Anthony is working with a team of scientists, teachers, and enthusiastic citizens to establish a methane bubbling monitoring program, the Pan-Arctic Lake-Ice Methane Monitoring Network (PALIMMN), with an education and outreach component, Student-PALIMMN.

Methane Gas Seeps: Potential Energy Source for Rural Alaska Villages

The goal of this project is to evaluate the potential for environmentally responsible development of methane gas from seeps near remote Alaskan villages for local space heating and power generation. Research priorities include identifying and evaluating the quantity, quality, and location of natural seeps, as well as determining potential capture and transport mechanisms necessary for future resource development. This project is supported by an NSF EPSCoR Early Career Fellowship and the Department of Energy.

Image above: Thermokarst lake near Cherskii, Russia. Photo by Katey Walter Anthony.

Modeling Impacts of Icy Permafrost Degradation on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Carbon Cycling in Thermokarst Lakes

This NSF IPY #0732735 research project integrates field studies in a range of disciplines (geomorphology, geophysics, paleoecology, hydrology, limnology) with process modeling of permafrost thaw, lake formation, carbon cycling, and greenhouse gas emissions to understand how permafrost degradation in the Arctic, particularly thermokarst-lake evolution, affects long-term atmospheric trace gas dynamics by releasing ancient carbon stored in permafrost as carbon dioxide and methane. Intensive study regions are areas of the Yedoma Ice Complex in the Kolyma River Lowlands of Russia and the Seward Peninsula, Alaska.

Lake Methane Ebullution

The goal of this project is to estimate methane emissions from a variety of lake types in Alaska and Russia, with particular attention to the importance of thawing permafrost as a fuel for methane production. We map methane bubbling "hotspots" that come from various sources, not just thawing permafrost, including also decay of modern plants and seepage from geological reservoirs of methane. To date we have mapped over 50 lakes in Alaska and Russia. Using automated bubble traps, we monitor rates of methane bubbling from point sources and hotspots in lakes. Our goal is to understand the origins, magnitude and vulnerability for change of methane emissions from lakes.

Remote Sensing Methane Ebullition

Our goal is to develop a technique to quantify methane bubbling from lakes by linking remote sensing synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to ground surveys of methane bubbles trapped in lake ice for large-scale sampling within images to upscale quantification of regional and pan-arctic lake emissions. This work addresses the NASA Earth Science Enterprise Strategy's objectives of determining how global (aquatic) ecosystems are changing as permafrost warms and thaws enhancing methane emissions from expanding lands and how ecosystems respond to and affect global environmental change and the carbon cycle.

Thermokarst Lake 500

Thermokarst lake near Cherskii, Russia. Katey Walter Anthony.

NASA Assessing the Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Thermokarst, Methane Emissions, and Related Carbon Cycling in Siberia and Alaska

Thermokarst depressions and thermokarst lakes (TKLs) dominate large areas of the arctic land surface and may expand as permafrost continues to warm and thaw, releasing large quantities of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. We propose to define the relationship of TKLs to global climate change by developing remote sensing methods to quantify thermokarst and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from TKLs in regions (>1 million km2) of organic-rich, icy permafrost and ice-poor permafrost in Siberia and Alaska. We will use fine and broad scale remote sensing and field validation to determine the role of thermokarst as both a source (GHG release) and sink (peat accumulation) for carbon (C), thereby improving understanding of the behavior of a major C pool (icy permafrost) previously poorly considered in global C cycle sciences. Specifically, we will use remote-sensing based land cover classification and change detection to derive information about thermokarst distribution, initiation, and related changes in land surface properties to improve C-cycle and ecosystem models for Northern Hemisphere permafrost regions. We will test new satellite-based techniques: SAR data will be evaluated for upscaling field-measurements of CH4 bubbling from lakes to regional estimates of lake CH4 emissions through the establishment of a Pan-Arctic Lake-Ice Methane Monitoring Network (PALIMMN). By integration of our remotely sensed spatial data, information derived from multi-temporal satellite data (50 years), radiocarbon dated TKL sediment records (up to ~15,000 years old), and available and predicted climatic data, we will inform the sophisticated 2-D and 3-D numerical permafrost models of our collaborators for prediction of spatial and temporal thermokarst dynamics and related GHG emissions in scenarios for up to 200 years into the future as permafrost warms and thaws under global warming.


Fluxes of carbon, water and energy are major regulatory drivers of the Arctic system, and form key linkages and feedbacks between land, ocean, and atmosphere. They are expected to change rapidly as climate warms. The goal of this IPY NSF project is to establish two long-term observatories at Toolik Lake Field Station in Alaska and the Northeast Science Station in Cherskii, Russia for year-round measurements of landscape-level carbon, water, and energy balance and to contribute to a pan-arctic network where coordinated measurements are made available in a unified database.

In partnership with NOAA, we will measure CH4 concentrations on a 50-meter tall tower in Siberia and use a gradient technique to calculate CH4 flux. Data generated on the tower will contribute to the Global Monitoring Division of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory as part of a global greenhouse monitoring network that provides the long-term atmospheric observational basis for improving understanding of the global and North American carbon cycle. This work aims to reduce uncertainties on and improve estimates of CH4 emissions from northern high-latitude ecosystems, and to ensure our ability to detect increases in CH4 emissions resulting from climate change.

The Polaris Project

The Arctic is central to the global climate change issue, and Russia has by far the largest share of the Arctic. Yet few western scientists, much less students, ever get the chance to work in the Russian Arctic. The NSF POLARIS Project, a joint initiative between the Woods Hole Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Northeast Science Station in the Sakha Republic of Russia, will train future leaders in arctic research and education, and inform the public; both tasks are essential given the rapid and profound changes underway in the Arctic in response to global warming.

Improving Cold Region Biogas Digester Efficiency

The goals of our two-phase project are to test and implement cold-adapted biogas digester technology in Cordova, a rural Alaskan community. Successful biogas technology would provide Alaskans with alternative cooking and heating fuel, offsetting fossil-fuel costs, reducing greenhouse gas emission, and minimizing organic waste in dumps. Currently in our first phase, we are experimenting with the relative efficiencies of mesophiles (conventional warm-loving digester microbes from manure) and psychrophiles (cold-loving microbes from thermokarst lake sediments) on common Alaskan household feedstock at various temperatures. The second phase will deploy digesters in practical household scale projects, operating appliances to evaluate feasibility and sustainability for widespread use in Alaska. The project is funded by a Denali Commission Emerging Energy Technology Grant, and is managed in partnership with the Cordova Electric Cooperative and the Cordova High School.

We are also working with a separate grant from National Geographic Society and the Blackstone Ranch in association with engineer T.H. Culhane of the NGO Solar CITIES) to introduce the cold-adapted technology in the high altitudes and latitudes in Africa, Europe, and Asia. This grant includes community education and media coverage to broaden the social appeal of the digester technology.

Community Involvement

Whenever possible, Katey works to raise awareness about Arctic sources of methane and now they might be used to meet a community's research needs.  She visits local communities, inviting students and other community members to increase their knowledge and become involved in her work. Here are some examples of projects that community members have been involved in:


Katey welcomes media inquiries into her research and field work. Please contact her if you are interested in covering a story. Here are a few examples of external coverage:


  • Assistant Research Professor, Water and Environmental Research Center, Institute of Northern Engineering & International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Research on methane in the Arctic, lakes, biogeochemistry, climate change, permafrost/thermokarst, carbon cycling, isotopes. UA Presidential International Polar Year Postdoctoral Fellowship: March 2007-2010. Research on carbon and nutrient cycling in northern lakes with particular attention to permafrost dynamics and thermokarst processes in the Arctic.
  • Research Program Manager, Oil Spill Recovery Institute, Prince William Sound Science Center, Cordova, Alaska. Research program development and management of annual and strategic plans for a grant program focused on oil pollution issues in arctic and sub-arctic aquatic ecosystems. 2006-07. Directed peer-review of research proposals and planned RFPs. Worked with Board members from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, two Regional Citizens’ Advisory Councils, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and the North Pacific Research Board and Coastal Response Research Center, US Minerals Management Service, and SINTEF’s Joint Industry Program. Served on the Oil Spill Response and Prevention Committee of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Council and am a member of the Advisory Board of the University of New Hampshire/NOAA’s Coastal Research Response Center.
  • Project Coordinator at the Northeast Science Station in Cherskii, Russia. Coordinated Russian-U.S. collaborations for the International Polar Year as part of an effort to network arctic observatories in Alaska and Russia for long term monitoring of climate change in cold regions. 2001-present.
  • Radiocarbon Course, Keck AMS Facility UC Irvine, with E.A.G Schuur and S. Trumbore, 2007,
  • Graduate Research Assistant with Dr. F. S. Chapin III, Institute of Arctic Biology. Field expeditions to remote field station in NE Siberia for 5-7 month periods each year during 2000-2004. I gained skills as a laboratory supervisor at Northeast Science Station in Cherskii, Russia. I assisted in organization of logistics for equipment and sample transport to NE Siberia from the United States. I conducted field sampling and laboratory analyses for aquatic and terrestrial long term monitoring program for my Ph.D. research and to facilitate other PI’s at the NE Science Station. I supervised undergraduate students and field and lab technicians. I am fluent in Russian language.
  • Isotope analyst in Radiocarbon Lab at University of Florida in collaboration with Dr. Ted Schuur. March 2004. Stable isotope analyses of gases, graphitization of CO2 for radiocarbon age dating of CH4 and peat. These were skills I learned during my Ph.D. work. Stable isotope analyst in Department of Oceanography at Florida State University with Dr. Jeffrey Chanton; Vacuum line procedures, isotope-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry of gases. 2004. These were skills I learned during my Ph.D. work.
  • Geographical Information System (GIS) independent study project with Dr. Dave Verbyla using ArcView to analyze changes in Siberian lake area using MSS and ETM Landsat images. 2002. I learned some GIS skills during my Ph.D. work.
  • Teaching assistant for Nutrient Cycling course in Natural Resource Management for undergraduate and graduate students with Dr. David Valentine, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Spring 2003. Visiting scientist at Max Planck Institute for Microbiology, Marburg Germany. Conducted laboratory incubations for methane production potential, isotope analyses, presentation, collaboration with Dr. Peter Frenzel. 2003, 2005, 2009.
  • Stable Isotope Ecology Lecture and Laboratory Short Course at the University of Utah with Dr. J. Ehleringer, June 2002.
  • Graduate Research Assistant in the Tahoe Research Group, UC Davis, 1998 to 2000. Masters thesis research on ecosystem effects of Eurasian watermilfoil (aquatic macrophyte) invasion at Lake Tahoe, CA-NV. Assessment of impact on lake water quality.
  • Organization for Tropical Studies; graduate field study program in tropical biology, Costa Rica, 2000.
  • Tahoe-Baikal Institute summers 1998, 1999. Project leader for US portion of program. Directed research on aquatic macrophytes and water quality at Lake Tahoe, CA. Limnology project leader at Lake Baikal, Siberia. Participant of the Lake Tahoe Yellow Cress GIS project, Lake Tahoe, CA.
  • REU Research Assistant in Biogeochemistry Lab, University of Mass, Amherst Department of Geosciences. 1997-1998. Senior thesis project with Dr. Emily CoBabe tracing organic content of biomarkers in lake sediments from Alaskan lakes; use of GC and GC-MS.
  • Summer Research Program at Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Summer 1996. 40 hours per week. Research project in geochronology with Dr. Paul Layer using 40Ar/39Ar method and mass spectrometer to age-date volcanic samples from Chukotka Peninsula in Siberia. Publication pending.
  • Lab Instructor, Mount Holyoke Geology Department. 1996. Teach lab section for Geology 100.
  • CIEE Novosibirsk Summer for Students in the Natural Sciences. 1995. Studied abroad in Novosibirsk, Russia. Studied scientific Russian language and met with environmentalists to discuss current issues including the pollution of Lake Baikal.
  • American Field Services (AFS), Study abroad in Krasnodar, Russia. 1992-93. Attend high school and university for Russian language, cultural study.
  • Walter Anthony, K. M., P. Anthony, G. Grosse, J. Chanton. In press, 2012. Geologic methane seeps along boundaries of arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers, Nature Geoscience, DOI doi:org/10.1038/Ngeo1480.
  • Brosius, L. S., K. M. Walter Anthony, G. Grosse, J. P. Chanton, L. M. Farquhar son, P. P. Overduin, H. Meyer. 2012. Using the deuterium isotope composition of permafrost melt water to constrain thermokarst lake contributions to atmospheric CH4 during the last deglaciation. J. Geophys. Res, 117, G01022, doi:10.1029/2011JG001810.
  • Jones M. C., Grosse G., Jones B. M., Walter Anthony K M. (2012): Peat accumulation in a thermokarst-affected landscape in continuous ice-rich permafrost, Seward Peninsula, Alaska. J. Geophys. Res, 117, G00M07. doi:10.1029/2011JG001766.
  • Kessler, M. A., L. Plug, K. Walter Anthony (2012), Simulating the decadal to millennial scale dynamics of morphology and sequestered carbon mobilization of two thermokarst lakes in N.W. Alaska, J. Geophys. Res., 117, doi:10.1029/2011JG001796.
  • Sepulveda-Jauregui, A., K. Martinez-Cruz, A. Strohm, K. M. Walter Anthony, F. Thalasso. 2012, in press. New method for on-site measurement of dissolved gas in water using Infrared tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy. Limnology and Oceanography Methods.
  • Schuur, E. A. G., B. W. Abbott, and the Permaforst Carbon Network (W. B. Bowden, V. Brovkin, P. Camill, J. P. Canadell, F. S. Chapin III, T. R. Christensen, J. P. Chanton, P. Ciais, P. M. Crill, B. T. Crosby, C. I. Czimczik, G. Grosse, .J Harden, D. J. Hayes, G. Hugelius, J. D. Jastrow, T. Kleinen, C. D. Koven, G. Krinner, P. Kuhry, D. M. Lawrence, A. D. McGuire, S. M. Natali, J. A. O’Donnell, C. L. Ping, A. Rinke, W. J. Riley, V. E. Romanovsky, A. B. K. Sannel, C. Schädel, K. Schaefer, Z. M. Subin, C. Tarnocai, M. Turetsky, M. Waldrop, K. M. Walter Anthony, K. P. Wickland, C. J. Wilson, S. A. Zimov. 2011. High risk of permafrost thaw. Nature, 480, 32-33. doi:10.1038/480032a.
  • Warwick F., I. L. Vincent, I. Laurion, R. Pienitz, K. M. Walter Anthony. 2012. Climate Impacts on Arctic Lake Ecosystems, In Global Impacts of Climate Change on Inland Waters (Eds: C.R. Goldman, M. Kumagai, and R.D. Robarts).
  • Wooller, M. J., J. W. Pohlman, B. V. Gaglioti, P. Langdon, M. Jones, K. M. Walter Anthony, K. W. Becker, K. U. Hinrichs, M. Elvert. 2012. Reconstruction of past methane availability in an Arctic Alaska wetland indicates climate influenced methane release during the past ~12,000 years. Journal of Paleolimnology DOI 10.1007/s10933-012-9591-8.
  • Walter Anthony, K. M. 2011. Methane: A menace surfaces. Physics of Sustainable Energy II: Using Energy Efficiently and Producing It Renewably, American Institute of Physics Conference Series, Eds. D. Hafemeister, D. Kammen, B.G. Levi, P. Schwartz,Vol. 1401, 470 pages.
  • Grosse G, V. E. Romanovsky, T. Jorgenson, K. M. Walter Anthony, J. Brown J, P. P. Overduin. 2011. Vulnerability and feedbacks of arctic permafrost to climate change. EOS Trans. AGU, 9(1), 73-74.
  • Isaksen, I. S. A., M. Gauss, G. Myhre, K. M. Walter Anthony, C. Ruppel. 2011. Strong atmospheric chemistry feedback to climate warming from Arctic methane emissions, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 25, GB2002, doi:10.1029/2010GB003845.
  • Jones, B. M., G. Grosse, C. D. Arp, M. C. Jones, K. M. Walter Anthony,V. E. Romanovsky. 2011. Modern thermokarst lake dynamics in the continuous permafrost zone, northern Seward Peninsula, Alaska, J. Geophys. Res., 116, G00M03, doi:10.1029/2011JG001666.
  • Parsekian, A. D., B. M. Jones, M. C. Jones, G. Grosse, K. M. Walter Anthony, L. Slater. 2011. Expansion rate and geometry of floating vegetation mats on the margins of thermokarst lakes, northern Seward Peninsula, Alaska, USA. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 36(14), 1889-1897. doi:10.1002/esp.2210.
  • Prowse, T., K. Alfredsen, S. Beltaos, B. R. Bonsal, W. B. Bowden, C. R. Duguay, A. Korhola, J. McNamara, W. F. Vincent, V. Vuglinsky, K. M. Walter Anthony, G. A. Weyhenmeyer. 2011. Effects of changes in arctic lake and river ice. Ambio. 40:63–74 DOI 10.1007/s13280-011-0217-6.
  • Walter Anthony, K. M., D. Vas, L. Brosius, F. S. Chapin III, S. A. Zimov, Q. Zhuang. 2010. Estimating methane emissions from northern lakes using ice bubble surveys. Limnology and Oceanography Methods 8, 592–609.
  • Walter Anthony, K. 2009. Arctic Climate Threat--Methane from Thawing Permafrost. Scientific American. December 7, 2009.
  • Walter, K., L. Brosius, 2009. Sheep Creek haw pond: Thermokarst lakes and methane emissions, Ninth International Conference on Permafrost, Field Trip Guide Book, Fairbanks Alaska, USA.
  • Walter, K., D. Vas, 2009. Thermokarst and Drunken Forest. Ninth International Conference on Permafrost, Field Trip Guide Book, Fairbanks Alaska, USA.
  • Edwards M., K. Walter, G. Grosse, L. Plug, L. Slater, P. Valdes. 2009. Arctic thermokarst lakes and the carbon cycle. PAGES News, 17(1), 16-18.
  • Wooller, M. J., C. Ruppel, J. W. Pohlman, M. B. Leigh, M. Heintz, K. M. Walter Anthony. 2009. Permafrost gas hydrates and climate change; lake-based seep studies on the Alaskan North Slope: Fire in the Ice (U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory Methane Hydrate Newsletter), summer 2009, p. 6-9 [http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oil-gas/FutureSupply/MethaneHydrates/newsletter/newsletter.htm].
  • Zhuang, Q., J. M. Melack, S. Zimov, K. M. Walter, C. L. Butenhoff, M. A. K. Khalil. 2009. Global Methane Emissions From Wetlands, Rice Paddies, and Lakes, EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 90 (5), 37-44.
  • Walter, K. M., J. P. Chanton, F. S. Chapin, III, E. A. G. Schuur, and S. A. Zimov, 2008. Methane production and bubble emissions from arctic lakes: Isotopic implications for source pathways and ages, J. Geophys. Res., 113, G00A08,doi:10.1029/2007JG000569.
  • Walter, K. M., M. Engram, C. Duguay, M. Jeffries, F. S. Chapin III. 2008. The potential use of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) for estimating methane ebullition from arctic lakes, Journal of the American Water Research Association, 44(2), 305-315.
  • Chanton, J.P., K. M. Walter. Siberian Permafrost Decomposition, Arctic Lakes and Carbon. Development and Transition. Published by the United Nations Development Programme and the London School of Economics and Political Science, June, 2008. www.developmentandtransition.net
  • Corell, R.W., S. J. Hassol, J. M. Melillo, D. Archer, E. Euskirchen, F. S. Chapin III, A. D. McGuire, T. R. Christensen, V. P. Fichelet, K. Walter, Q. Zhuang, T. Callaghan, S. Bech, C. McMullen. 2008. Methane from the Arctic: Global warming wildcard. In: UNEP Year Book 2008 (edited by P. Harrison), pp 37-48. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Grosse, G. V. Romanovsky, K. Walter, A. Morgenstern, H. Lantuit, S. Zimov. 2008. Thermokarst Lakes: High-Resolution Distribution and Temporal Changes at Three Yedoma Sites in Siberia, Proceedings from the Ninth International Conference on Permafrost, 551-556.
  • Walter, K. M., M. Edwards, G. Grosse, S. A. Zimov, F. Stuart Chapin III, 2007. Thermokarst lakes as a source of atmospheric CH4 during the last deglaciation. Science 318, 633-636.
  • Walter, K. M., L. C. Smith, F. S. Chapin III. 2007. Methane bubbling from northern lakes: present and future contributions to the global methane budget, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, vol. 365, N. 1856: 1657-1676.
  • Lopez, B., N. I., Shilomanov, F. E. Nelson, K. Walter, B. Hallet, R. S. Sletten. 2007. A Threatening Thaw. National Geographic Magazine. December issue. Pp. 137-154.
  • Romanovsky, V., K. Walter, K. et al. Ice in the Ground, Chapter 4 in The Global Outlook for Ice & Snow, Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) and UNEP, 2007.
  • Walter, K. M., S. A. Zimov, J. P. Chanton, D. Verbyla, F. S. Chapin III. 2006 Methane Bubbling from Siberian Thaw Lakes as a Positive Feedback to Climate Warming, Nature 443, 71-75.
  • Corradi C.A.R., K. Walter, O. Kolle, S. A. Zimov, E-D. Schulze. 2005. Carbon dioxide and methane exchange of a north-east Siberian tussock tundra. Global Change Biology 11, 1910-1925.

In Revision (near publication)

  • Engram, M., K. M. Walter Anthony, F. J. Meyer, G. Grosse. Investigating synthetic aperture radar (SAR) backscatter response from ice on thermokarst lakes, as an indicator of methane ebullition bubbles, on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, USA. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing.
  • Walter Anthony K. M., P. Anthony. Constraining spatial variability of methane ebullition in thermokarst lakes using point-process models. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences.

Articles in Preparation

  • Farquharson, L.M., K. M. Walter Anthony, N. H. B. Bigelow, G. Grosse, M. E. Edwards, J. E. Beget. Sedimentology of thermokarst lakes forming in yedoma on the northern Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews.
  • Geai, M. L., K. M. Walter Anthony, G. Grosse, D. Verbyla. Quantifying methane ebullition from an interior Alaska thermokarst lake using aerial photography. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences.
  • Grosse, G., B. Jones, K. M. Walter Anthony. (in preparation for resubmission). Application of airborne LIDAR for mapping permafrost-related land surface features and processes in an Arctic lowland, NW Alaska. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.
  • Grosse, G., B. Jones, K. M. Walter Anthony, L. Plug, V. Romanovsky. A temporally high-resolution lake drainage dataset from ice-rich permafrost lowlands on the Seward Peninsula, NW Alaska, for 1950-2008. Remote Sensing of Environment.
  • Grosse, G., K. M. Walter Anthony et al. Distribution and characteristics of thermokarst lakes in the Arctic and estimates of methane emissions. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences. Jones, M. C., K. M. Walter Anthony, G. Grosse. New estimates for northern high latitude peatland and thermokarst lake methane emissions during deglaciation. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences.
  • Martinez-Cruz, K., A. Sepulveda-Jauregui, Y. Belmonte, R. González, N. Vargas-González, K. M. Walter Anthony, F. Thalasso. Temperature dependence of methanogenesis and methanotrophy in arctic, temperate and tropical lakes. Limnology and Oceanography.
  • Sepulveda-Jauregui, A., K. Martinez-Cruz, A. Strohm, K. M. Walter Anthony, F. Thalasso, CH4 cycling in arctic lakes: methanogenesis and methanotrophy. Hydrobiologia.
  • Sepulveda-Jauregui, A. K. M. Walter Anthony, F. Thalasso. Anaerobic methane oxidation coupled to sulfate reduction and denitrification in arctic lakes. Environmental Science and Technology.
  • Strohm, A. J., K. M. Walter Anthony, F. Thalasso, F. Seasonality of methane emissions from an interior Alaska thermokarst lake. Limnology and Oceanography.
  • Walter Anthony, K. M. and G. Grosse. Decrease in landscape methane emissions: An alternate trajectory of thermokarst on the northern Seward Peninsula, Alaska, Ecological Applications.
  • Walter Anthony, K. M., G. Grosse, M. Engram, P. Anthony. Methane emissions from 50 years of thermokarst in Alaskan lakes. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences.
  • Walter Anthony, K. M., S. A.. Zimov, M. Jones, P. Anthony, G. Grosse. Permafrost thaw: A long-term carbon sink. Nature.
  • Vas, D.A., K. M. Walter Anthony, R. Barry, P. Anthony. Understanding the plumbing of methane ebullition seeps in interior Alaska thermokarst-lake sediments from high temporal resolution seep monitoring, Limnology and Oceanography.


The videos below show phenomena associated with methane release in lakes.


This video, recorded 2009, on a lake near Fairbanks, shows Walter Anthony and a research team drilling a hole through lake ice, then lighting the escaping methane. This video was shot by Megan Otts and Todd Paris of UAF Marketing and Communications.

This video shows a large plume of methane-rich gas continuously bubbling in a tundra lake in Alaska. In the background is a rubber raft used by researchers to explore field sites and collect data. Katey Walter Anthony made this recording in the summer of 2007.

This video shows a researcher burning a plume of methane-rich gas as it bubbles up through the water of a tundra lake in Alaska. Researchers visit winter field sites, cut the ice over the plume (which was located during the summer field season), and light the escaping gas. The steady flames indicate the presence of the methane. Walter made this recording in the spring of 2008. At the end of the end, the video pans out to show a larger view of the lake and the research team. Appearing are (left to right) Melissa Smith, Dennis Witmer, Paul Bodfish, and Thomas Ahmakak Itta.

This video, taken in January 2008 (by Peter Anthony), shows Katey Walter opening thin ice overlying the methane seep at Atqasuk. High rates of bubbling prevent thick ice from forming, and gas escapes from the seep year-round to the atmosphere through cracks in the ice.

This video was shot under the lake ice in April 2008 (by Dennis Witmer). It shows the ice-free cavern generated by a violent bubbling plume that is active year-round. The milk jug frozen in place is a buoy, anchored to the lake bottom for seep location identification in summertime. Here it gives an idea of the scale of the cavern.

The event as Described by Dennis Witmer:

"The seep flows so strongly that it disrupts the normal ice formation on this lake. The ice on the lake was about four feet thick, but directly over the seep, the ice was only about a foot thick and porous. We made a hole over the top of the seep to make some measurements, but noted that every time we took ice or water out of the hole that the level dropped -- not what you would expect from floating ice. From this we deduced that the seep must have made a dome in the ice, with ice frozen to the bottom along the edges, but forming a dome of thinner ice over the seep. We then deliberately removed about 200 gallons of water (we counted 40 five-gallon buckets full) and discovered that we had dropped the water level about 16 inches from the top of the ice. I then took my digital camera in movie mode and made the video. The seep can be seen with the vigorous bubbling of the water. You can also see a white plastic milk jug frozen to the top. This was a float that Katey had used to mark the seep last summer so she could easily find it from the air. I shot only a few seconds of video before I lost my nerve; I realized that the chamber in the top of the dome was a mixture of air and methane and could have been an explosive mixture -- I didn't want to ignite the mixture from a spark from the camera."


  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Ph.D., May 2006. Department of Biology and Wildlife. Advisor: Dr. F. Stuart Chapin III. G.P.A.: 4.0. Dissertation: Methane emissions and biogeochemistry of North Siberian thermokarst lakes. 2006 1st place winner of the United States Council of Graduate Schools/ University Microfilms International Distinguished Dissertation Award in the field of Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering.
  • University of California, Davis, M.Sc. Restoration Ecology. August, 2000. Department of Environmental Studies and Policy. Major Advisor: Dr. Charles Goldman. G.P.A.: 3.96. Thesis: Ecosystem effects of the invasion of Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) at Lake Tahoe, CA-NV.
  • Mount Holyoke College, Bachelor of Arts, 1998. High Honor in Geology. Magna cum Laude. Major: Biogeochemistry Minor: Russian Studies G.P.A.: 3.94. Honors Thesis: "Organic Geochemical Analysis of Biomarkers from Birch Lake, Alaska".
  • Edinburgh University, Scotland. Study abroad 1996-97. Geology, ecology, and field courses.
  • Novosibirsk State University, Russia. Summer 1995. Scientific Russian Language.
  • Portland State University, Oregon. 1993-94. Russian Language 411, 412, 413.
  • Kuban State University, Krasnodar, Russia. 1992-93. Russian language and culture.
  • NSF 09-538 Hydrologic Sciences. Co-PI K. Walter Anthony, PI R. Daanen, Water and methane dynamics in thermokarst lakes near Fairbanks, Alaska, Jan. 2013-Dec. 2015. PENDING.
  • NSF OPP #1107892. Co-PI K. Walter Anthony, PI Syndonia Bret-Harte. AON, Collaborative Research on Carbon, Water, and Energy Balance of the Arctic Landscape at Flagship Observatories in Alaska and Siberia. July 2011- June 2014. FUNDED.
  • DOE. PI K. Walter Anthony. Collaborative Research: Quantifying Climate Feedbacks of the Terrestrial Biosphere under Thawing Permafrost Conditions in the Arctic, Sep 2011-Aug. 2014. FUNDED.
  • NASA Roses NNX11AH20G. PI K. Walter Anthony, Co-PIs G. Grosse, F. Meyer. Characterization of CH4 emissions from high latitude lakes in North America using multi-scale remote sensing, June 2011- May 2014. FUNDED.
  • Collaborative Proposal to Lehigh University/NSF. Postdoc support for Miriam Jones. Impacts of climate seasonality on carbon accumulation and methane emissions of Alaskan ecosystems during the Holocene Thermal Maximum. $38,254. July 2010-Jan. FUNDED
  • Denali Commision. 2009 Emerging Energy Technology Grant. Improving Cold Region Biogas Digestor Efficiency. PI: Katey Walter Anthony, collaboration with Cordova Electric Cooperative, Clay Koplin.
  • Blackstone Ranch Institute Innovation Challenge Grant, National Geographic Society, 2009. Improving cold season biogas digestor efficiency for global energy solutions. PI: K. Walter Anthony.
  • WINGS WorldQuest 2011 Elected Fellow. http://explore.wingsworldquest.org/node/722
  • National Geographic Society Early Explorers, awarded Feb. 2009, biographical article in NGS Magazine about scientist and her research.http://www.nationalgeographic.com/field/explorers/walter-katey-09.html
  • National Wildlife Federation: National Conservation Achievement Award in Science for 2009, presented November 2009, Washington DC
  • Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Association Mary Lyon Award, 2010.
  • DOE Methane Hydrates 2008. Funding Opportunity: DOE #DE-NT0005665. Title: Source characterization and temporal variation of methane seepage from thermokarst lakes on the Alaska North Slope in response to arctic climate change. PI: Matthew Wooller, Katey Walter et al.
  • NASA: Proposed project: Astrobiology of Icy Worlds: Habitability, Survivability, and Detectability. PI: Katey Walter Submitted April 2008. September 2008-August 2013.
  • DOE Climate Change Prediction Program: Abrupt Climate Change Modeling Opportunity # DE-PS02-08ER08-05. Project: Quantifying Climate Feedbacks from Abrupt Changes in High-Latitude Trace-Gas Emissions. PI Walter.
  • NSF EPSCoR Early Career Fellowship, Project: Methane availability as a function of permafrost vulnerability and vegetation, PI Katey Walter Jan.-Aug. 2008. FUNDED
  • NASA #NNX08AJ37G: Assessing the spatial and temporal dynamics of thermokarst, methane emissions, and related carbon cycling in Siberia and Alaska; G. Grosse, K. Walter, V. Romanovsky
  • NSF IPY #0732735: "IPY: Understanding the impacts of permafrost degradation and thermokarst lake dynamics in the Arctic on carbon cycling, CO2 and CH4 emissions, and feedbacks to climate change", PI Dr. K. Walter et al.
  • NSF IPY #0732533: "IPY ISE: Polaris Project: Rising Stars in the Arctic, Dr. K. Walter et al.
  • UA Presidential International Polar Year Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Ecological Society of America 2006 most notable publication
  • Young Scientist IASC Scholarship for Arctic Council AMAP, 2007
  • United States Council of Graduate Schools/ UMI Distinguished Dissertation 1st Place Award in Science, Math and Engineering 2006
  • NASA Earth Systems Science Fellowship 2003-05
  • Global Change Grant, IARC, 2001, 2002
  • EPA Star Fellowship, 2000-2002
  • UC Davis Graduate Mentorship Fellowship, 1999
  • Leopold Schepp Fellowship, 1999
  • Sigma Xi, 1998
  • ARCS Scholarship, 1998, 1999
  • Morris K. Udall Scholarship, 1996, 1997.
  • A. Elizabeth Adams Fellowship, 1998
  • New Eight Scholar-Athlete, 1995, 1997
  • Claire Bates Davidson Scholarship, 1998
  • Sarah Williston Scholar, 1996
  • Rhodes Scholarship finalist, 1998
  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, 1996
  • Seven Sisters Scholar Athlete, 1998
  • National Security Education Program Scholarship for study in Russia, 1995
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1998
  • Mildred L. Sanderson Prize in Math, 1995

Peer reviews

  • Manuscript reviews for refereed journals in recent years: Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Science, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, Aquatic Botany, NICOP, UNEP. Science, Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, Biogeochemistry, JAWRA, Limnology & Oceanography: Methods, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, Aquatic Botany, NICOP, UNEP, PLoS ONE.
  • Proposal reviewer for the National Science Foundation, ALW Klimaatvariabiliteit; NOAA Climate Program Office, Global Carbon Cycle Program; Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund.

Graduate & undergraduate students, postdocs

  • Miriam Jones (Postdoc)
  • Mark Kessler (Postdoc)
  • Prajna Regmi (Ph.D. remote sensing methane)
  • Laura Brosius (M.Sc. isotopes and organic chemistry of methane production in arctic lakes)
  • Dragos Vas (M.Sc. methane ebullition dynamics)
  • Melanie Engram (M.Sc. satellite remote sensing of methane bubbles in lake ice)
  • Louise Farquharson (M.Sc. paleoenvironment of thermokarst lake sediments)
  • Armando Sepulveda Jauregui (PhD methane cycling in global lakes)
  • Benjamin Jones (Ph.D.)
  • Sudipta Sarkar (M.S.)
  • Allen Phelps (Ph.D.)
  • Joanne Heslope (M.Sc.)
  • Desmond Johns (UAF, senior thesis)
  • Dan Nidzgorski and Erin Carr (REU’s)
  • Dmitri Draluk (trained local resident of Cherskii, Russia to monitor methane in lakes). 2005-present.
  • High School Students: 2007 Science symposium: Mentor to Nic Covell, West Valley High School, 3rd place winner; 2008 Katie Sparks, West Valley High School;
  • Visiting research fellows: Frans-Jan Parmetier (from Netherlands Oct.-Nov. 2008); Marie Laure Geai, French Fulbright Fellow 2009-10.

Other skills

Fluency in Russian language; translator; professional travel through Russia and Former Soviet Union, running, skiing, mountaineering, cello.

Permafrost and Methane Research Photos

Chuckochki Cape

August 2009 on Chuckochki Cape, in Russia's Far East. Katey Walter Anthony and colleagues spotted these reindeer escaped from their heard as they climbed up a nearby permafrost exposure to peer into the thermokarst lake basin in the forefront of the photo. Guido Grosse.

Floatilla Base Camp
This flotilla was the base camp for Grosse and Katey Walter Anthony on their 2009 expedition to the East Siberian Sea to study permafrost carbon and methane from ancient thaw lakes. Guido Grosse.
Tube Dispenser Lake

Tube Dispenser Lake in Cherskii, Russia, September 2003. Katey Walter Anthony made long-term methane measurements. On this day she and her field assistant worked from a rubber raft gathering samples. At the time of this photo they were drying by a small wood fire after the wet sampling. Katey Walter Anthony.

Coring Tug

Professor Terry Chapin and Katey Walter Anthony as his graduate student in May 2001. Chapin and Walter Anthony are struggling to separate a tube containing lake sediments from the core head. They are standing on a thermokarst lake near Cherskii, Russia. Melissa Chapin.


Katey Walter Anthony is extracting a methane bubble trap from a thermokarst pond near Cherskii, Russia in 2001. Only about a decade earlier, this was a forest area underlain by icy permafrost. The ice is melting, so the ground surface subsides. The sink hole filled with water forming a pond. This pond will continue to help thaw the permafrost around it, eventually expanding into a large thermokarst lake. Nikita Zimov

Chaichi active layer

This photo taken in May 2001 by Terry Chapin shows Katey Walter Anthony in the first year of PhD research probing the shallow seasonal depth of thaw in a recently drained thermokarst lake basin near Cherskii, Russia. Terry Chapin.

Church Rodink alpine glows

Alpenglow highlights a Russian church in this view from the look out of the Northeast Science Station in Cherskii September 2004. The science station served as a base from which research by founder and director, Sergey Zimov, and others on Siberian Yedoma permafrost has been conducted since the 1980s. Katey Walter Anthony.

Katey Iceberg

Katey Walter Anthony on a 2007 expedition for hydrochemistry off the coast of Alaska. Gemma Atwal.

Collected Methane

Katey Walter Anthony shows methane collected into large plastic bags from a strong geologic seep at Qualluraq Lake on Alaska's North Slope. Moments later we lit a match and observed a great explosion, demonstrating the seep composition as methane. Methane is flammable and also an important greenhouse gas, which is released daily from millions of seeps across Alaska. Gemma Atwal.

Katey Glacier Decent

Katey Walter Anthony descends through the bottom of glacial ice near Juneau, Alaska in July 2007. Katey is studying methane production and emissions in environments where glaciers are melting and ice retreating. Michelle Koppes.


Sergey Zimov, Director of the Northeast Science Station in Cherskii, Russia stands near the base of this massive exposed Yedoma permafrost ice wedge in this August 2001 photo taken at Duvanni Yar. The soil trapped behind the ice wedge is high in organic content. When this Yedoma permafrost melts the carbon is made available to microbes which produce carbon dioxide and methane. Katey Walter Anthony.

  • Water and Environmental Research Center (WERC)
  • 437 Duckering
  • 306 Tanana Loop
  • PO Box 75 5860
  • Fairbanks, AK 99775-5860, USA