Deposition of dust and black carbon or soot (pollution) is a problem on accumulation zones of valley glaciers and on icecaps worldwide. This soot is the result of incomplete combustion of biomass and fossil fuels, while dust is released from devegetated or dry soils due to land use changes. These dark contaminants absorb more solar radiation thereby reducing the natural albedo (reflectivity) of snow and ice, and leading to enhanced melting. Our project work is aimed at exploring the surface reflectivity of the snow and ice. We will be comparing our results with historical data – has dust deposition increased and if so, by how much?

The Ngozumpa, at 18 kilometers, is one of Nepal’s largest and longest glaciers. It is growing a large terminal lake called Spillway, which may someday pose a flooding hazard to the Sherpa villages down-valley. We have been studying this glacier since 2011, along the way training locals on research and field protocols through a Sherpa-Scientist Initiative. Now is your chance to join as a citizen-scientist and help us in continuing this important work. Come find out how we do science in the wild – from the data collection to the analysis and interpretation of our field investigations. Collecting the data is just half the battle!

Have you ever wanted to travel to the Andes? Climb one of the world’s highest mountains, while helping a science project along the way? If so, then join Science in the Wild for a climbing and snow sampling expedition on Aconcagua (6962 m/22,841 ft.) in January 2017! As a citizen-scientist participant, you’ll help us sample and measure the quality of the snowpack on the highest peak in the southern hemisphere. To prep for the rigors of Aconcagua, we’ll take a few extra acclimatization days at Vallecitos and climb a beautiful 5000-m peak. We look forward to sharing the beauty of the Andes with you!