Today, the American Alpine Club (AAC) announces their 2012 research grants awards. The Club, founded in 1902, is the premiere organization for American alpinism. Headquartered in Golden Colorado, it is a mountaineering and advocacy non-profit organization with the goal of providing knowledge, inspiration, and logistical support to the climbing community
The AAC’s research awards are aimed to expand understanding of geographic, environmental, and social change in Arctic and Alpine regions. With expanding stresses on these fragile and beautiful environments worldwide, particularly from accelerating climate change and increased demands on water and related natural resources by growing populations, such research highlights the need for scientific understanding and practical techniques that can be applied elsewhere.
The $10,000 in 2012 grants were awarded to 27 individuals and 1 climbing expedition during the annual review process. The AAC grants go to support young researches doing initial field research over a wide range of innovative topics. Examples of the research the AAC supported included studies of the changes in glacial ice dynamics in Alaska; local village understanding and adaption to climate change on the high Tibetan Plateau of Ladakh, India; the first ever Mongolian glacier measurements using satellite imagery; analysis of the extent of pine-bark beetle damage in western forests; and effects of fire on ecosystem recovery along the international national parks straddling Montana and Alberta, Canada. The AAC also supported an innovative Climber Science Program to help mountaineering teams become more aware of scientific issues and research techniques while on expeditions into remote mountains such as the Cordillera Blanca of Peru.
The complete list of 2012 AAC research grants includes:
- Katherine Barnhart: Sinking Quantitative Teeth into Alpine Geomorphology: Deployment of Automated Datalogger Systems in Colorado’s Alpine Environment (UC Boulder, CO)
- Peter Bordokorr: A Geographic Perspective of Climate Change Adaptation in Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains (University of Montana, Missoula, MT)
- Seth Campbell: Developing Geophysical Constraints on glacier ice depth and volume in the Alaska Range (CRREL, Hanover, NH)
- Chris Davis: Molecular Biology of Altitude Acclimatization: A Study of Lowlanders in Bolivia (UC, Denver, CO)
- Ian Delaney: Black Carbon Deposition on Snow and Glaciers in Washington State: Implications for Accelerated Snowmelt (Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA)
- Geoff Hill: Experimental analysis of human waste treatment at remote Alpine backcountry destinations (University of British Columbia, Squamish, BC, Canada)
- Scott Hotaling: Population genetic structure and ecological niche modeling of two alpine invertebrates in Glacier National Park, MT (University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY)
- Sam Johnson: Emergency Behavioral Health in Wilderness Situations: A Contextual Examination of Needs and Suggested Protocols for Behavioral Health Emergencies in the Backcountry (Fairbanks, AK)
- Jon Kedrowski: Impacts of human waste from Mount Everest climbers on glacial water quality on the Upper Khumbu Glacier (Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA)
- Chris Monz: An Assessment of Resource conditions And Recreation Impacts on the Lower Saddle of the Grand Teton, WY (Utah State University, Logan, UT)
- Kimiko Nygaard: Using Geospatial and Participatory Modeling to Enhance Local Adaptive Capacities to Climate Change Impacts in High Mountain Areas: A Case Study of Northern Ladakh, India (University of Montana, Clyde Park, MT)
- Caleb Pan: Inventory of Mongolian Glaciers for the global land ice measurements from space (GLIMS) Program (University of Montana, Missoula, MT)
- Carlyn Perovich: The Turtle vs. the Tortoise: Top-down and bottom-up controls of mountain pine beetle outbreaks in Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO)
- Will Petry: Ecological genetics for a changing world: Understanding the role of genetic and environmental variation in plant demography and species interactions (University of California, Irvine, CA)
- Roger Putnam: Mapping a volcano’s roots in 3D: Creating the first geologic map of the face of El Capitan, Yosemite Valley, CA. (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,NC)
- David Scott: Relationships between climate, tree vigor, and eruptions of the spruce beetle in the San Juan Mountains, CO (Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO)
- Melanie Stine: The Effect of Fire on Geomorphology and Ecotone Dynamics within the Alpine Treeline Ecotone, Glacier National Park, MT (Texas State University, San Marcos, TX)
- Rebecca Watters: Going Gulo: Documenting an Unknown Wolverine Population in Mongolia (Jackson, WY)
- Brett Woelber: Soil controls on stream recharge from diurnal snowmelt events, Lost Horse Canyon, Bitteroot Mountains, MT (University of Montana, Missoula, MT)
- Robyn Wooldridge: The Effects of Explosives on the Physical Properties of Snow (Montana State University, Bozeman, MT)
Climber Science Program:
- Ellen Lapham: The Cordillera Blanca 2012 Integrated Science Project Black Carbon, CO2, Water Quality and other Field Studies.
- Rebecca Cole: Impacts of grazing, burning, and nonnative grass invasion on the structure and function of high altitude Puna grasslands as part of the Climber Science Program.
- Carolyn Swertka: The Cordillera Blanca 2012 Integrated Science Project: CO2 as a Tracer for Understanding Sources of Pollutants in the Cordillera Blanca The Climber Scientist Program (CSP).
- Kate von Krusenstiern: Glacier Albedo Study as part of the Peru 2012 Climber Science Program.
Logo courtesy of the American Alpine Club