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  • Driving the Dalton: A Tour of North Slope Glacial History

    The only road in the United States that crosses the Arctic Circle is the Dalton Highway: a remote, potholed, perilous path that begins north of Fairbanks and terminates at the Arctic Ocean. For some, driving the Dalton is a bold, lonely adventure, and for others, it’s just a long commute to work. Molly Timm, field…

  • Arctic Field Science: An Unruly Harmony

    It’s 9 p.m. on my 26th birthday, and I’m standing outside a trailer in the middle of the Alaskan tundra. The trailer is my workplace for the summer, and my labmates and I are waving signs— mine reads “You are Alaska”— and cheering for the runners sprinting past us, in the final meters of an…

  • Glacial Change in China’s Central Asia

    Though I lived in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region for almost two years, it was only when I was in the heart of the Tian Shan mountains, my motorcycle meandering its way around fallen rock, sheep herds and horses, that I felt truly at home. Just a few hours outside of the city of Shihezi,…

  • Using Kayaks and Drones to Explore Glaciers

    Field study sounds cool: a group of scientists take boats out into untraveled waters on an important scientific mission, even witnessing extraordinary scenery like an iceberg calving event along the journey. However, the breathtaking beauty of such a trip can also come at a price, sometimes even human life! “I like working in Alaska, but…

  • Samar Khan Becomes First Woman to Cycle on Biafo Glacier

    Glaciers draw attention to some of society’s most entrenched issues. Samar Khan cycled 800 kilometers to the Biafo Glacier in northern Pakistan, where she rode on the 4,500 meter high glacier, one of the most elevated rides on glaciers in the world and becoming the first woman to do so. She is from Pakistani, a country where women’s rights are improving but there still exists an extreme disparity between men’s rights and women’s, which is one of the reasons Ms. Khan decided to pursue this goal.

  • Studying Microclimate in Central Chile

    For map geeks, especially geographers and cartographers, it might be of interest to know about an overlooked peculiarity in Chilean maps. Unlike other countries, perhaps with the exception of Argentina, topographic and nautical charts use the words “glaciar” and “ventisquero” to refer to a glacier or zone filled with perennial snow (see an example for…

  • Extreme Skiing Expedition Raises Climate Change Awareness

    As glacial ice melts due to global warming, explorers Borge Ousland and Vincent Colliard are in the process of skiing across the world’s 20 largest glaciers to raise awareness about climate change. Deemed the Alpina & Ice Legacy Project, the plan seeks to have the duo cross the world’s most isolated glacial realms over the…

  • Presence and Absence: Mourning a Himalayan King

    A shortened version of this article was published in the Nepali Times on December 23, 2016.   One Thursday last month, not much before noon, I was walking through a forest steeped in snow, in rural Vermont. Sun came and went between the clouds. It was quiet, spare. Crystalline light reflected off the frozen surface…

  • khumbutse view of everest

    Technology in Adventure: Lessons from an Everest Attempt

    Sarah Jane Pell, a researcher at the Exertion Games Lab at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia and a self-described artist-adventurer, initially planned to climb Mount Everest in April 2015 to document her experiences with high-definition 360-degree video and record artistic expressions on the summit. She hoped to provide human-computer interaction designers…

  • An All-Woman Climbing Team in the Andes

    Mujer Montaña—“Woman Mountain” in Spanish—participated in a recent project of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA), in which women climbers from Latin America and Europe carried out ascents of peaks in two mountain ranges in the Bolivian Andes. They established mountaineering records, achieving first all-female ascents and opening new routes. They met another goal as…