It’s been a big year for glaciers. Between record-breaking temps, the Paris climate summit, and the fact that Arctic sea ice melting out in summer is now a norm, evidence that the icy regions of the planet are changing fast is overwhelming.
But, away from the news headlines, what does this really look like on the ground?
2015 was a big year for my glacier project too. I spent less time in the field, but more time at the desk. I produced and defended a 100+ page manuscript that not only secured my Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing and environment and natural resources, but is also the beginnings of a book, a book that I hope will illuminate the experience of fast-changing places and inspire the environmental stewardship and responsibility our planet needs.
I was fortunate to be featured in a film made by the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources here at the University of Wyoming. They’ve provided so much support for the project academically, financially and even sometimes emotionally.
I also installed my photography show, Experiencing Ice. While it’s hard to gage the impact a show like that has on the general public, just seeing the glaciers on those gallery walls made me feel inspired and hopeful.
My one field trip this past summer was magical. I hiked deep into the Wind River range with a group of 20+ students and instructors from Central Wyoming College who were conducting hard hitting research on the remote Dinwoody glacier. We hiked 26 wilderness miles to get to the ice where they made camp for several days. Being in such close proximity to scientists racing time to better understand glaciated places before they’re gone also procured in me hope, even in the midst of constantly bad glacier news.
The next year will bring big changes and challenges. I’m digging into book proposals and research grants. I’m aiming for a long road trip around the glaciers of the northwest U.S. this summer, and maybe another trip to the Columbia Icefield, or Alaska. My goal is to lay the foundation to publish the work, while continuing to experience the incredible, soul-feeding places that inspire it.
On to the next~