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Mr Toby J Benham, BSc, MSc

Research Associate in Remote Sensing / GIS / Software based at the Scott Polar Research Institute. Formerly Software Engineer, now working on Glaciological application of Earth Observation data and production of software tools in support of this.


Toby Benham graduated from Royal Holloway College, University of London in 1983, and - following an initial twelve-year career in Software Systems Development with CAP / SEMA Group / BAeSEMA - studied for a Masters Degree in Environmental Remote Sensing at the University of Aberdeen.

His research interests are in the application of remote sensing and GIS methods to environmental issues. He was based initially at Bristol Glaciology Centre, where he worked on the acquisition and reduction of airborne ice-penetrating radar data from the large ice caps of the Canadian Arctic islands. He participated in airborne data acquisition surveys for this over Devon and Ellesmere Islands in Arctic Canada. This work was in support of study of the form and flow of Arctic ice masses, and Toby has continued to make use of this and other datasets at SPRI. He continues to provide Remote Sensing / GIS / Software support to Glaciological research. His Remote Sensing experience has broadened to include use of Passive Microwave data and SAR Interferometry, as well as further satellite and aerial optical imagery (e.g ASTER), across various regions of the Arctic and Antarctic. In 2003, he participated in ship-borne marine geophysical survey of the Glacio-marine environment in Pine Island Bay, Antarctica. He has also worked on Remote Sensing of Permafrost terrain over the North Slope region of Alaska, concentrating in particular on thermokarst lake seasonal and interannual variation. More recently, Toby has again been working in relation to surveys of the Greenland Ice Sheet (2011, 2012) and Canadian Arctic (upcoming in 2014) ice thickness and bed properties.




Toby's research interests are generally in the application of remote sensing and GIS methods to the study of the environment, and the generation of software as required to support this. His M.Sc. Dissertation "NOAA AVHRR Sub-Pixel Snow Classification" was undertaken in connection with staff at Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (MLURI), Aberdeen, in the context of their involvement in the HydAlp project which sought to use Earth Observation data for Snow-Melt Runoff modelling.

His work within SPRI has so far concentrated on:

Toby is a member of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society.