2018 American Alpine Club Research Grant Recipients Announced

March 23, 2018, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 Research Grants, powered by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy (NREL) and supported by Icebreaker, Kavu, the Henry Gholz Memorial Fund, and the following endowments: Lara-Karena Bitenieks Kellogg Memorial Fund, Scott Fischer Memorial Fund, Arthur K. Gilkey Memorial Fund and the Bedayn Research Fund.

The AAC Research Grants program supports scientific endeavors in mountain environments around the world. Congratulations to the 2018 Research Grant recipients:

Zeke Baker - $1,500

Bridging climbing access and impacts in a multi-use landscape: A historical political ecology of climbing in Indian Creek, Utah

Zeke Baker is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of California, Davis. He is investigating how various groups - rock climbers, ranchers, Native Americans, landowners, government officials, and scientists - have impacted the landscape of the Indian Creek region of Utah, and how they evaluate and make meaningful their respective impacts.  

Marie Faust - $1,225

Reproductive consequences of climate change-driven alterations in co-flowering between two subalpine plant species

Marie Faust is a master’s student in Plant Biology and Conservation at Northwestern University. She is examining how climate-driven shifts in co-flowering can affect competition for pollinator services and reproductive success in a subalpine plant species at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, Colorado.

Jessica Gilbert - $1,500

Assessing the impact of anthropogenic activities on high altitude biodiversity in Huascaran National Park, Peru

Jessica Gilbert is a PhD candidate in Wildlife and Fisheries Science at Texas A&M University. Her study aims to assess the impact of human activities on high altitude biodiversity in Andean ecosystems in Huascaran National Park, Peru, comparing the spatial use of habitat by mammalian carnivores in “pristine” environments and areas affected by livestock grazing our tourism activities.

Ethan Guzek - $1,020

Proposed Rockfall and Slope Stability Hazard Assessment, Frenchman Coulee Climbing Area

Ethan Guzek is a master’s student in Engineering Geology at the University of Washington. He is using standard engineering geological methods for studying rock-slope stability and rock fall hazards to conduct a safety assessment for the Sunshine Wall at the Frenchman Coulee climbing area in Washington.

Andrew Hoffman - $1,500

Deriving elevation change, validating GPRI-derived glacier velocities, and using citizen science to enrich public awareness of regional climate change on Mt. Baker, WA

Andrew Hoffman is a PhD candidate in Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington. He is investigating glacier speed and retreat on Mt. Baker, Washington using photogrammetry-kinematic GPS surveys, a process that incorporates citizen science efforts.

Rachel Kreb - $1,225

Ecological Restoration: Cushion Plant Facilitation on Alpine Trails

Rachel Kreb is a master’s student in Environmental Biology at Regis University. She is investigating how cushion plants respond to human-caused disturbance along restored and existing trails on Mt. Yale in Colorado.

Marti March Salas - $1,220

The effect of rock climbing on Mediterranean cliff vegetation: Implementation of an innovative and comprehensive methodology in a wide geographical range

Marti March Salas is a PhD student in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid, Spain. He is investigating the impacts of rock climbing on cliffside plant communities in Mediterranean environments by conducting surveys of species richness, plant composition, and vegetation cover in climbing locations in the US, Chile, Spain, and France.

Amy Sturgill - $1,500

Pine Creek Recreation Interaction Study: The Role of Outdoor Recreation in Shaping Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Habitat Selection

Amy Sturgill is a biologist with the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. She is investigating the impacts of recreational use in Pine Creek Canyon, Sierra Nevada, California, on Sierra bighorn sheep habitat selection.

Thank you to our partners and Research Grant Committee members: Danika Gilbert, Louis Reichardt, Matt Hepp, Micah Jessup, and Emily Fenwick.

Part of the AAC’s mission is to respect and support the areas we enjoy, and one of the most important ways to do that is by funding research to better understand such environments. Learn more about the Research Grant: https://americanalpineclub.org/research-grants.


About the American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, Rumney Rattlesnake Campground, Samuel F. Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.