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2011 Nikwax Bellwether Grant Winners

Posted on: June 22nd, 2011 by Luke Bauer

—Congratulations to 2011 Nikwax Alpine Bellwether Grant Winners—

Nikwax and The American Alpine Club are proud to announce the winners of the 2011 Nikwax Alpine Bellwether Grant (NABG). The NABG winners this year plan environmental research expeditions on Denali’s West Buttress and on Glaciers near Santiago, Chile.

The key objectives of the Nikwax Alpine Bellwether grants are to fund research into climate change, bring scientific information to the broader outdoor community, and pique the interest of that broader community to spur further education, research, and action.

The winning studies are detailed below:

Seth Campbell, Silas Rossi, Kevin Volkening, Kristin Schlid, Dominic Winski: A Scientific-Photographic Historical Exploration of a Climbing Route Icon: W. Buttress of Denali. The University of Maine study, ongoing since 2008, will compare data and photos collected by mountaineer Bradford Washburn in the 1940s, with 2011 data.  The team will use ground penetrating radar and 20m ice cores for sampling. Results from this study will be used extensively for outreach programs in K-12 schools and for science courses at Dartmouth College.

Kurt Sanderson, Colin Moffat, Brett Sanderson, and Carrie Sanderson: Significant Glaciers of Chile: Interaction of Ice, Water and Community Survival near Santiago, Chile. The report plans to demonstrates the critical need to preserve Chile’s glacier system, one of the most complicated fresh water resources challenges in the world. The expedition’s goal is recording, in photo and video and field journal entries plus local interviews, the importance of this issue to Chileans. The team also plans to develop a user friendly field methodology that will motivate fellow alpinists to document the annual changes taking place in Chile’s high mountains.

About the Nikwax Alpine Bellwether Grant:

High alpine environments are early indicators of climate change. In order to document the impacts of global warming in these fragile ecosystems, Nikwax is underwriting the Nikwax Alpine Bellwether Grant (NABG), in association with The American Alpine Club (AAC). The NABG is awarded annually, with $3,000 divided between two or three recipients. Grantees visit alpine regions to observe and photograph changes in glacier recession, upward plant migration, animal sightings, and other critical indicators. The photographs and findings are provided to climate experts, who then detail methods for mitigating current and future impacts of global warming in fragile environments.

About the AAC:

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to supporting American endeavors in mountain environments around the world. The AAC supports alpinists, rock climbers, ice climbers, boulderers, and mountaineers who are passionate about climbing, its community, its history, and conservation of the places we climb.

Together, through this collective passion and the AAC’s programs, we inspire, create, partner, steward, and unite to have a stronger voice and lasting impact for future generations of climbers.

About NikWax:

Nikwax® was founded in 1977 and is the global leader in environmentally safe aftercare and waterproofing solutions that extend the life and performance of technical footwear, apparel and equipment. Nikwax® uses formulations that deliver maximum effectiveness while minimizing environmental impacts and promoting sustainability. Nikwax® is the only major aftercare company to have never used aerosols, fluorocarbons, nor volatile organic chemicals. They are all fluorochemical-free, derived from nature-based ingredients, are not tested on animals, and are biodegradable. Nikwax® currently exports to 50 countries across the globe, is the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Queen’s Award (2x), Sunday Times Best Green Award, and the Green Apple Award, and is ISO 9001 and 14001 certified.

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