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WKU faculty member leading research expedition in Peru

peru1Dr. John All, (right) associate professor in WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology, and Clinton Lewis, WKU’s University Photographer, recently reached the 18,143-foot summit of Ishinca Mountain as part of a summer expedition in Peru with the American Climber Science Program. Here is a report from Dr. All, director of the ACSP, about the trip: The American Climber Science Program — Peru expedition to the Ishinca valley over the past 12 days was very productive. Ten people comprised the first cohort of the 2013 Cordillera Blanca expeditions and they represented numerous universities and institutions. For the most part, this team will be in Peru all summer with the ACSP as we continue our work and so our first efforts were to collect baseline data and train everyone in mountain safety.  Our research efforts including collecting vegetation data for studies on climate change, grazing and fire impacts in the range, we placed an atmospheric dust experiment at 5100 meters for collection later this summer, we collected over 20 snow samples on three mountains surrounding the valley, and we delineated the location of water bodies and springs across the valley in preparation for later water quality monitoring as the expeditions continue. Team members from 19 to 72 years old ascended mountains including Urus Este (5495 m) and Ishinca (5530 m). For our next expedition to the Cayesh valley, we are being joined by Peruvian graduate students from La Molina University in Lima who will be studying the impact of grazing on mountain wetland ecosystems.  Also new teams from Colorado State and Western Washington are joining our efforts and our research diversity will continue to grow throughout the season as more scientists and climbers join us. More: For information and more photos, check out the ACSP’s blog at www.mountainscience.org or webpage at www.climberscience.com.
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