This summer, in addition to assisting with citizen science projects, my focus will be on glaciers in Rocky Mountain National Park. This will take the form of an institutional memory project (a collection of scientific papers, a timeline of scientific research, a brief, and a synopsis) and a story map narrating why Rocky’s glaciers are unique.
As with any area in science, a lot of questions have begun to emerge: How many glaciers are in Rocky? Can we still classify the areas that we had previously classified as glaciers glaciers? What defines a glacier? And does it matter whether or not an area is technically a “glacier?”
Are Rocky’s glaciers somehow protected from climate change? Why? And will they continue to be protected as climate change worsens?
There are scores of scientific research on Rocky’s glaciers, but there are still scores more to find out. Yet the glaciers aren’t waiting while we find more out.
These immense, mobile bodies of ice are increasingly becoming less immense and less mobile; they’re losing the very characteristics that define them. Maybe the more important question to ask then is what we can do, both personally and as a society, to stop this?