Alpine Club of Canada

SpringGazette2017

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Recycle this Gazette Leave it at your office Cole Brachmann checks the sensors for the meteorological station set up on recently deglaciated soil. The station is used to obtain accurate in-field weather data that could be used to ground truth longer-term climate data. It will also be used to compare the air temperature with the soil temperatures measured by data loggers buried at various transplant sites. photo: david hik www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/facilities Did you know... You can check hut availability online ! 22 The Alpine Club of Canada Gazette spring 2017 along an elevational gradient mediating some of the changes in species distribu‑ tion? Rapid environmental changes can result in loss of habitat for alpine species, including plant and animal species. Soil development and nutrient or moisture gradients have the potential to speed up or slow down the rate of change of plant species in these alpine sites, which means soils can help to preserve intact alpine habitat. My investigation into the role that soils play in alpine habitats due to climate change is necessary to properly understand the impacts that warming will have on these areas. I conducted several studies during the summer to try to understand these processes better. In one experiment, I transplanted several species from late to early successional sites near the ter‑ minus of the Easy Glacier. ese sites are recently deglaciated and had been recently colonized by broad‑leaved willow‑herb or Epilobium latifolia. I transplanted ten individuals of four spe‑ cies from older areas of Bachelor Pass: leather‑leaved saxifrage (Leptarrhena pyrolifolia), lesser blackscale sedge (Carex Having the opportunity to meet a large number of people who are intimately concerned with mountain environments was beneficial to me, as it allowed me to see the environment and challenges I faced from different perspectives. It also allowed me to learn firsthand the concerns and interests of the people who enjoy and participate in mountain activ‑ ities. Over the summer, I also offered a few nature walks—in weeks when I had some spare time! My overarching research question is: How are alpine plant distributions being affected by warming temperatures, and especially, how are soil characteristics by cole brachMann I n 2011 e Alpine Club of Canada sponsored the first State of the Mountains Report for Canada. Authored by Meghan Ward, the report focused on some of the most obvious impacts of climate change in alpine environments of southern Alberta and British Columbia. In it, the voices of scientists and climbers revealed the rapid and dramatic changes occurring in these high places. At the same time, the ACC committed to continuing its efforts to assist researchers who are working to obtain a more complete understanding of how warming may affect moun‑ tain environments. I had the opportunity to spend the summer of 2016 conducting research at the ACC's General Mountaineering Camp at Bachelor Pass. e logistics associated with alpine research are always challenging, and being able to take advantage of the GMC facilities made things so much easier and safer; for example, having cooks and a doctor in camp is uncommon for alpine field work. I was at the GMC for six weeks, and each Saturday I had the opportunity to meet a different group of people, which took some getting used to as everyone I had come to know would leave and a new group of strangers would arrive! In the end, all the groups were full of amazing people, everyone was interested in what I was doing and I was continually chal‑ lenged to find new and compelling ways to explain my research project. On some days, GMC participants even joined me in the field to assist with data collection. Scientist appreciates GMC laboratory

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