Researcher to discuss glacier contribution to water supply in Port Angeles

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PORT ANGELES — The connection between glaciers and the Olympic Peninsula’s water supply will be explored in U.S. Park Service geologist and glacier expert Jon Riedel’s talk at Peninsula College’s Studium Generale program Thursday, Oct. 10.

Riedel serves as the principal investigator of North Cascades National Park’s Glacier Monitoring Program. He has done research on the glaciers of the Olympic Mountains.

His presentation will begin at 12:35 p.m. in the Little Theater and is free to the public.

Riedel will present “Vanishing Ice: What Happens to the Olympic Peninsula Water Supply as Glaciers Retreat?”

This special program is part of Peninsula College’s celebration of the United Nation’s declaration of 2013 as “The International Year of Water Cooperation.”

Special campuswide programs and class activities centered on the theme of water around the world will be presented throughout the academic year and will focus on issues such as war, health, the environment, the global economy, culture and immigration as they relate to our most valuable resource.

Riedel has been studying glaciers since the mid-1980s.

“They are fascinating, beautiful and important geologic features that provide an opportunity to study climate change going back hundreds of thousands of years,” he said.

His own research has focused on glacier/climate change spanning the past 30,000 years.

Olympic research

Although he is stationed at North Cascades National Park, Riedel and his team also monitor glaciers at Mount Rainier and recently completed a research project on the status of glaciers at Olympic National Park.

“Glaciers are iconic features of the Olympic Peninsula habitat for some species and are part of alpine food webs, dramatic indicators of climate change and important sources of fresh water,” Riedel said.

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Last modified: September 26. 2013 5:32PM
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