The history and science of glacier change in the western US and a peek into their future

  • 26 May 2020
  • 7:00 PM
  • Online

Andrew Fountain

Portland State University

Watch the recorded presentation

The Pacific Northwest is home to the most glaciers anywhere in the continental US. And we take glacier observations for granted, we know somebody is looking at them. But I got to wondering, when did glacier observations start and who started it? When did science discover glaciers here in the West? The history is surprising and the glaciers in Oregon played a major role. The cast of characters includes the famous and not so famous, and controversy brewed for more than a decade. And part of the controversy included, 'What is a glacier?'. Since their 'discovery' glaciers have been observed off and on since the start of the new century in 1900, mostly by amateur hiking clubs. These early observations have provided key data in understanding about how the glaciers have changed over time. While they are all retreating generally, there is one major exception, a new glacier, less than 50 years old. Sadly, however, their future is grim.

Central Oregon Geoscience Society

P.O. Box 2154,  Bend, Oregon 97709

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