Rainer PRINZ

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Research and Teaching Areas

  • Tropical and alpine glaciers
  • Mountain climatology
  • Glacier surface energy and mass balance modelling
  • Glacio-meterological monitoring


Curriculum Vitae

  • Since 2015: Assistant Professor (Postdoc) at the Institute of Geography of the University of Graz
  • 2015: PhD thesis at the University of Innsbruck: Climatic Controls and Climatic Proxy Potential from Glacier Retreat on Lewis Glacier, Mt Kenya 
  • 2009-2015: Scientist in glacio-meteorological research projects at the Institute of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, University of Innsbruck: Lewis Glacier, Mt Kenya (FWF), Hintereisferner, Kesselwandferner, Rofental (Government of Tyrol), hiSNOW and Langenferner (Province Bozen-Südtirol, Italy)
  • 2012-2013: Scientist at ENVEO IT: ALPSAR campaign
  • 2012/13 (FFG/ASAP7 as part of the Earth Explorer candidate mission CoReH2O, ESA)·
  • 2008: Trainee at the World Glacier Monitoring Service, Zürich
  • 2002-2007: Geography studies at the University of Innsbruck


Research Projects

  • Multi-scale analyses of the climate-glacier relationship on tropical Lewis Glacier, Mount Kenya, East Africa (2009-2013, FWF, PI: Georg Kaser)
  • Hintereisferner - an open air laboratory: long-term glacio-meteorological monitoring in the Rofental, Ötztal Alps (2013-2015, Government of Tyrol, PI: Georg Kaser)
  • hiSNOW: high resolution glacio-meteorological monitoring and modelling of the highly glacierized catchment of Hochjochferner, Ötztal Alps (2014-2016, Government of the Province of Bozen-Südtirol, PI: Rudolf Sailer)
  • AlpSAR: campaign for testing the airborne Syntetic Aperture Radar (SAR) called "SnowSAR" as preparation for ESA's CoReH2O candidate Earth Explorer mission (2012-2013, FFG/ASAP7/ESA, PI: Helmut Rott, Thomas Nagler)
  • Langenferner: long-term glacio-meteorological monitoring in the Martelltal, Ortler-Cevedale Alps (since 2004, Government of the Province of Bozen-Südtirol, PI: Georg Kaser)





  • Prinz, R., L. Nicholson, T. Mölg, W. Gurgiser and G. Kaser (2016): Climatic Controls and climate proxy potential of Lewis Glacier, Mt., Kenya The Cryosphere, 10 (1), 133-148, doi:10.5194/tc-10-133-2016. PDF
  • Galos, S.P., C. Klug, R. Prinz, L. Rieg, R. Sailer, R. Dinale and G. Kaser (2015): Recent glacier changes and related contribution potential to river discharge in the Vinschgau / Val Venosta, Italian Alps, Geografia Fisia e Dinamica Quaternaria, 38 (2), 143-154, doi: 10.4461/GFDQ.2015.38.13 PDF
  • Zemp, M., Frey, H., Gärtner-Roer, I., Nussbaumer, S. U., Hoelzle, M., Paul, F., Haeberli, W., Denzinger, F., Ahlstrøm, A. P., Anderson, B., Bajracharya, S., Baroni, C., Braun, L. N., Cáceres, B. E., Casassa, G., Cobos, G., Dávila, L. R., Granados, H. D., Demuth, M. N., Espizua, L., Fischer, A., Fujita, K., Gadek, B., Ghazanfar, A., Hagen, J. O., Holmlund, P., Karimi, N., Li, Z., Pelto, M., Pitte, P., Popovnin, V. V, Portocarrero, C. A., Prinz, R., Sangewar, C. V, Severskiy, I., Sigurðsson, O., Soruco, A., Usubaliev, R. and Vincent, C. (2015): Historically unprecedented global glacier decline in the early 21st century, Journal of Glaciology, 61(228), 745–762, doi:10.3189/2015JoG15J017. Pdf
  • Mölg, T., N. J. Cullen, D. R. Hardy, G. Kaser, L. Nicholson, R. Prinz and M. Winkler (2013): East African glacier loss and climate change: Corrections to the UNEP article “Africa without ice and snow”, Environmental Development, 1–6,doi:10.1016/j.envdev.2013.02.001. 
  • Nicholson, L., R. Prinz, T. Mölg and G. Kaser (2013): Micrometeorological conditions and surface mass and energy fluxes on Lewis Glacier, Mt Kenya, in relation to other tropical glaciers, The Cryosphere, 7(4), 1205–1225, doi:10.5194/tc-7-1205-2013. Pdf
  • Prinz, R., L. Nicholson and G. Kaser (2012). Variations of the Lewis Glacier, Mount Kenya, 2004-2012. Erdkunde, 66(3), 255–262. doi:10.3112/erdkunde.2012.03.05. Pdf
  • Prinz, R., A. Fischer, L. Nicholson and G. Kaser (2011): Seventy-six years of mean mass balance rates derived from recent and re-evaluated ice volume measurements on tropical Lewis Glacier, Mount Kenya, Geophysical Research Letters, 38, L20502, doi:10.1029/2011GL049208. Pdf


  • Prinz, R. (2015): Climatic Controls and Climatic Proxy Potential from Glacier Retreat on Lewis Glacier, Mt Kenya, PhD Thesis, Faculty of Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Innsbruck. Pdf
  • Rott, H., T. Nagler, E. Ripper, K. Voglmeier, R. Prinz, R. Fromm, A. Coccia, A. Meta, D. Di Leo, and D. Schüttemeyer (2014): KU- and X-band backscatter analysis and SWE retrieval for Alpine snow, Geosci. Remote Sens. Symp. (IGARSS), 2014 IEEE Int. Pdf
  • Rott, H., T. Nagler, E. Ripper, K. Voglmeier, R. Prinz, and R. Fromm (2014): Retrieval of Snow Mass using Ku- and X-band SAR Data, inProceedings of EUSAR 2014; 10th European Conference on Synthetic Aperture Radar, pp. 896–899, VDE, Berlin. Pdf
  • Rott, H., T. Nagler, R. Prinz, K. Voglmeier, R. Fromm, M. Adams, S.H. Yueh, K. Elder, H.-P. Marshall,  A. Coccia, E. Imbembo, D. Schüttemeyer and M. Kern (2013): ALPSAR 2012-13, a field experiment on snow observations and parameter retrievals with Ku- and X-band radar, in Proceedings of the ESA Living Planet Symposium, ESA-SP722, Edinburgh, UK 2013, ESA Communications, ESTEC, Noordwijk.
  • Winkler, M., R. Prinz, L. Nicholson, N.J. Cullen and C. Kinnard (2011): Ice-mounted masts as platforms for micro-meteorological measurements on glaciers, IASC Workshop on the Use of Automatic Measuring Systems on Glaciers, Pontresina, Switzerland. Extended Abstracts and Recommendations, C. H. Tijm-Reijmer and J. Oerlemans (eds.), pp. 88-91, University of Utrecht, Utrecht. Pdf
  • Prinz, R. (2007): Vergleiche von Klimainformationen aus Gletschermassenbilanzmessungen an Punkt und Fläche. - Auswertungen der Massenbilanzreihen von Hintereis-, Weißbrunn- und Kesselwandferner mit Hilfe von Klimadaten, Master Thesis, Institut für Geographie, Universität Innsbruck.


Further Information

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Mag.rer.nat. PhD

Rainer Prinz

Institut für Geographie und Raumforschung

Postal Address:
Heinrichstr. 36,
A-8010 Graz

Universitätsstr. 2-4 (Heizhaus), 4th Floor

+43 316 380 - 8296

Office Hours:
By appointment

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