AMERICAN ALPINE CLUB RESEARCHERS
AAC Researchers are scholars and scientists who have conducted environmental research in part through AAC funding. These are their stories.
Past Award Recipients
Dissecting River Flow: Quantifying How Melting Glaciers and Snow Impact Central Asian Water Stress
This research took place over a 500 km stretch of the Naryn River draining the western flanks for the Tien Shan Mountains in Kyrgyzstan. The work aims to quantify the relative source water contribution from snow, ice, groundwater, and rain to lowland river flow in an arid Central Asian catchment to better understand potential future flow vulnerabilities across this volatile region. Read more here.
The AAC recently interviewed Alice on climate change, her research and climbing. Read the interview here.
Constraining a Prominent Driver in Glacier Terminus Stability from the Tidewater Glacier Kronebreen to Kongsfjorden, Svalbard
The Kronebreen glacier in Svlabard, Norway, was the prime location for this research. The work aims to study water samples collected at the glacier to quantify the magnitude and variation of glacier-driven fjord circulation in order to make more accurate predictions about the influence of a warming climate on ice discharge and on physical and biological dynamics within the fjord. Read more here.
The AAC recently interviewed Kristin on climate change, her research and climbing. Read the interview here.
Quantifying the Effects of Anthropogenic Disturbance on Alpine Flora on Colorado's 14'ers
Hiking on Colorado's tallest peaks is rapidly increasing in popularity, yet the effects of this increase are poorly understood. This study integrates a two year field study with ecological modeling techniques to elucidate how these fragile alpine ecosystems are responding to this pressure. Read more here.
The AAC recently interviewed Nathalie on climate change, her research and climbing. Read the interview here.
Investigating the Impact of Climate Change and Wildfire on High Elevation Wildflower Saxifraga Austromontana in the Rocky Mountains
High elevation ecosystems are experiencing the impact of climate change with many species moving up North in search of cooler climates. This study focuses specifically on the Saxifraga austromontana (spotted saxifrage) and seeks answers on how the species will fare under the impact of climate change and increased fire frequency. Read more here.
The AAC recently interviewed Trevor on climate change, his research and climbing. Read the interview here.
Evaluating Efficacy of Outdoor Education in Implementing Social-Ecological System Behavior in the Kyrgyz Republic
The purpose of this project is to create an ecological leadership curriculum that effectively combines “best practices” in adventure leadership and environmental education and apply the curriculum to the American University of Central Asia’s pilot Ecological Leadership Program. Read more here.
Relative Dating of Glacier Moraines in the Cordillera Blanca
Black carbon is believed to be contributing to climate change by absorbing sunlight and released as heat when deposited on the Earth’s surface. The black carbon snow sampling project involved climbing up onto glaciers in Peru to collect snow samples and measuring the reflectivity of the snow. This is just one of the several studies conducted with the help of this award. Read more here.
Analyzing the Efficacy of a New Potential Acute Mountain Sickness Medication
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a condition often triggered by rapidly ascending to a higher elevation, without proper acclimatization. The purpose of this trial is to investigate the usefulness of the drug budesonide as a prevention/treatment medication for AMS. Results are compared to the standard AMS treatment: acetazolamide. Read more here.
Assessing the Impacts of Introduced Mountain Goats on La Sal Mountain Alpine Arthropod Communities
Non-native animal species can threaten sensitive ecosystems. Recently, 35 non-native mountain goats were brought to the La Sal Mountains along the Utah/Colorado border. This research investigates the consequences of that introduction by surveying arthropod communities before and after the mountain goats were brought to the area. Read more here.
Katie Epstein & Jessica DiCarlo
Surveying Adaptation and Recovery in Mountain Farming Communities in Nepal After the 2015 Earthquakes
Nepal is still recuperating from the series of earthquakes that occurred early in 2015. In this study, households in farming communities in the mountainous district of Dolakha are interviewed and surveyed. Results indicate that subsistence agricultural systems were heavily impacted in the earthquakes and that household perceptions of recovery are highly differentiated, despite largely uniform and widespread damages across study sites. Read more here.
Assessing Risk of Glacial Outburst Flooding from the Imja Lake, Nepal
Located southeast of Mt. Everest, The Imja Lake is dammed by the terminal moraine of the Imja Glacier. As melt water from the glacier causes the Imja Lake to grow, the risk of catastrophic flooding to the down-stream communities grows. This study measured glacial dimensions, glacial retreat and lake depth over several years to model future glacial dynamics and the risk of outburst flooding. Read more here.