Spreading the word about ASC projects is in our DNA, because public awareness is paramount to creating change. Check out these recent stories helping us facilitate that part of our mission!
NPR Weekend Edition
Listen to Galen Koch interview ASC microplastics lead researcher Abby Barrows and ASC sailor Teresa Carey:
This past weekend, 56 local hikers, climbers and boaters trained with ASC staff and guides for the launch of our Gallatin Microplastics Initiative. Hiking and paddling hundreds of miles over two days, the volunteers gathered 130 samples from 69 sites in the Gallatin River and its tributaries.
"Without the volunteers, I would never be able to collect this many samples in such a short amount of time," said ASC microplastics lead researcher Abby Barrows. "[This project] will greatly accelerate our knowledge of microplastic pollution in the Gallatin Watershed."
By Pavel Cenkl
ASC Microplastics Adventurer
If you trace Iceland’s south coast along the Atlantic Ocean to its beautiful north coast on the Greenland Sea, you’ll make a 240-kilometer arc across the western Icelandic highlands.
I ran that arc over the course of three days this summer, as part of an independent project called Climate Run. I followed trails, gravel roads, faint paths and sometimes no paths at all, running along rivers, over snowfields, beside waterfalls, glaciers, thermal springs and across the open tundra.
Before and after the run, I collected ASC microplastics water samples from five locations in Iceland—from the southwest urban center of Reykjavik, to the isolated Westfjords in the northwest, to the harbors of the north coast. The coastline outside Iceland's few cities and large towns is remote and sparsely settled, yet far from isolated from the ebb and flow of global commerce and our indelible imprint upon the oceans and coastal regions.
Our Landmark project is well into its second year, and this season our crews have contributed some particularly creative media. A member of the July/August crew, Josiane Segar took the time to collect, press and study different species of grasses on the prairie. Below, she shares the final product.
Writing and Media by Josiane Segar
The term “grass” is largely misunderstood.
More often than not, it conjures an image of a neatly mowed patch of lawn. But the mixed-grass prairie in northeast Montana is so much more diverse than this: One of the world’s largest and least protected ecosystems, it has the capacity to support an exceptional diversity of animals.
The primary objective of ASC’s Landmark project is wildlife research. We hike transects to observe and collect data on pronghorn, bison and other local fauna, we map prairie dog towns, and we do camera trapping to study how wildlife interact with fences.
But to understand the bigger picture of our work, we must look closely at the grassland ecosystem itself.
Photography and Writing by Danny Walden
ASC Roadkill Adventurer
One night at a barbecue in Fairbanks, Alaska, a friend asked me if I wanted to try moose meat.
"It's roadkill," he said with pride—the same way a suburban foodie might say, "It's organic."
Vegetarian that I am, to say that I was unimpressed would be an understatement. But soon I realized that these grisly slabs were exempt from the reasons I avoid meat. It was lean—tough, but healthful. It was local, having come from right up the road (literally).
Best of all, this moose, until its unfortunate last moments as a hood ornament, lived its life as Old McDonald's pigs and chickens can only dream of: in the wild, with ample habitat and freedom. Furthermore, it would now feed my friends for a winter.
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