Today ASC Executive Director Gregg Treinish and Program Director Mike Kautz fly out the the Pacific Northwest to celebrate the end of another successful project and celebrate with the hardy volunteers who made it happen. As our 2014 project in the Olympic National Forest draws to a close we wanted to reflect on the memorable moments of the project. Here are the top 10 photos from this year's project. Look for more information and a full report soon!
Amanda Smith is one of our inaugural Landmark crew members from Madison, Wisconsin who currently lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a BS in Zoology and spent the last year working for a non-profit conservation organization as a volunteer coordinator and field leader. Her favorite part of being outdoors is experiencing the incredible details in an environment that build up the big picture we all enjoy.
When asked to reflect on her experience on the Landmark crew, Amanda replied, "It really just takes perseverance, the right pair of pants and waterproof boots. If you can take on 15 miles of zero degree weather there's nothing else that's going to stop you."
Watch Amanda's full interview below:
Amanda's parting advice: "I hope that everybody who comes here has enough time to get out of their vehicle and take a look around and feel the quiet and stillness and space of it all." Take your chance by applying to join Landmark today.
Find out more about the Landmark project on the Landmark page or by reading other Landmark blog posts. Keep up with ASC by subscribing to ASC's blog, liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter (@AdventurScience), Instagram (@AdventureScience) and Google+.
Armed with skis and professional-caliber mountain skills, the Shifting Ice and Changing Tides is setting off today on a human and wind-powered, female-led, ski and sail expedition to the west coast of Greenland. The team, made up of professional skiers, scientists and National Geographic Young Explorer Nat Segal, will be exploring Greenland and skiing first descents while limiting our environmental footprint by sailing and climbing. The expedition serves as a platform for raising awareness about climate change and environmental issues as well as for inspiring and promoting female participation in snow sport adventures. During the expedition the team members will be collecting samples for both our microplastics and snow & ice projects.
ASC recently caught up with the women of Shifting Ice on the eve of their departure.
ASC: What makes you most excited about the Shifting Ice expedition?
Pip: I am most excited about the unknown! There are so many aspects of this trip that my imagination can't do justice to, the ice sheet, polar bears, sailing in the Arctic - I can't wait to set off on this crazy adventure!
Meghan: For me, it is seeing over 1 year of hard work come together into one cohesive journey. Our teamwork has fired on all cylinders during the planning process and now we get to put it to the test in a harsher and more physically taxing environment.
McKenna: The adventure! Definitely the adventure. Like Pip said, there are a lot of unknowns going into this, it will be really exiting to see what we find and how our story develops. I am also excited to see what we bring home; how our data impacts the research we are helping with and how our story reaches the public.
Nat: I'm most excited about leaving the internet behind, packing up a bag of gear and signing out of reality! We are going to be immersed in adventure for three straight weeks and I just can't wait to come at it head-on with no distractions.
Andy Traylor, a fisheries biologist for the US Army Corps of Engineers, is an ASC naturalist guide. He grew up in the Willamette valley of Oregon spending his free time exploring the local mountains and rivers. Andy has a degree in Envrionmental Science from Oregon State University and worked as a guide with OSU’s Adventure Leadership Institute. Andrew enjoys almost all outdoor activities but primarily focuses on climbing, and his personal travels have taken him around the United States and into Canada and Mexico. Andy is also a volunteer for ASC's Pacific marten survey and he hopes to continue to bring the worlds of science and adventure together in as many ways as possible.
I recently had the pleasure of joining a fantastic group of high school freshmen from Marin Academy on a week-long, science-intensive minicourse at Point Reyes National Seashore. Located in San Rafael, California, Marin Academy presents their students with several options for minicourses, with the focus on immersing the students in an educational activity at a level that isn’t possible during the regular school year. Our trip coupled exploring and learning about various components of Point Reyes, with hands-on data collection in collaboration with different scientists both locally and globally.
With citizen science projects being a integral part of ASC’s mission, we facilitated the hands-on, dirty, cold, and wet (sometimes VERY wet) aspects of data collection. By providing opportunities to actively participate in doing science, these students built a connection with the landscape and system of Point Reyes that is much deeper than most visitors to the area.
Federico Guerrero and Laura Smith live on their sailboat, Quijote, at the end of the world in Ushuaia, Argentina. Federico built Quijote himself three years ago and now he and Laura use it to explore the wilderness in their backyard of Tierra del Fuego. Earlier this year they both sailed to Antarctica and worked with ASC to collect penguin and whale data. For this adventure they stayed a bit closer to home, exploring the Beagle Channel, navigating the same waters as Darwin and Fitz Roy.
No turkey on Thanksgiving day – No problem. Argentine Beef will have to do! But Thanksgiving was not until day 6 of our 10 day adventure, so that story will have to wait. On day one, we set sail from our home in Ushuaia, Argeninta and sailed to Puerto Williams, Chile, a small navy town at the end of the world. There we stamped into Chile and our adventure started as we sailed towards the Fjords along the Beagle Channel.
Our plan was to sail during the day and tuck into different fjords at night – often in the shadow of looming glaciers. In addition to our sailing adventure, we teamed up with ASC to collect water samples for their microplastics project, an initiative to collect water samples around the world to better understand microplastic pollution in the world’s water. Microplastics are generally defined as pieces of plastic that are less than 5mm (and often much smaller) – basically small pieces that are nearly impossible for our eyes to see. Very little research has been done on microplastics, so ASC and their partners at the Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI) are trying to understand the extent of the issue.
Rob Pudner is an avid ice climber who grew up in New Jersey. During college in Vermont he caught the adventure bug and moved to Bozeman, Montana, ASC's home base, in 2010. He was drawn here because of the proximity to world-class ice climbing and other adventure opportunities. Rob has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies with a minor in adventure recreation and is currently applying to a master’s program in urban planning. In January and February of 2014 he served as a pioneering member of the Landmark survey. As a mountaineer, Rob might never have visited the plains except through Landmark's opportunity to contribute to the creation of what will one day be the largest wildlife refuge in the Continental U.S. In the video below you can watch Rob reflect on his experience in his own words:
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