Grace Liu ’23

Headshot of Grace Liu

Computer Science

Project Title

Breaking the Ice: Trends in Intermittent Lake Freezing

Presentation Link

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I explored lake freezing as a local and tangible signal for climate change. We used a new approach to reconstruct freeze records of Princeton’s Lake Carnegie using newspaper archives. These records showed a decrease in the frequency and probability of ice skating over the past century. Subsequently, we extended our analysis to other intermittent ice-covered lakes in the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s Global Lake and River Ice Database and observed a similar trend of decreasing freeze events. Finally, we explored how ice intermittency might evolve globally in the future by building a model to classify intermittent ice-covered lakes and generate projections for various warming scenarios. From this experience, I learned how to process, analyze and visualize data, as well as how to use machine learning algorithms to classify data. More importantly, I learned how to ask questions, find answers and critique the results. My mentors fostered an environment of exploration and curiosity that was integral to the research process. As a result, this experience solidified my desire to pursue a career in academia, hopefully using computer science as a tool for environmental research.

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate and Environmental Science


Vecchi Research Group, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University


Gabriel Vecchi, Professor of Geosciences and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Nadir Jeevanjee, Research Physical Scientist, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory; Sirisha Kalidindi, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Geosciences