Jon Riedel to Discuss the Shrinking Glaciers in Washington’s National Parks Feb. 23

Jon L. Riedel of the U.S. National Park Service will discuss the status of glaciers in Washington's National Parks as part of the WWU Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23 in Miller Hall 138 on the Western Washington University campus.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

More than 500 glaciers grace the summits of Washington’s three National Parks. In his talk titled, “Blue Ice: Photographic and Scientific Evidence of the Recent Loss of Glaciers in Washington's National Parks,” Riedel will discuss the status of these glaciers. Aerial photographic evidence of their status was collected at various times in the last century, which has allowed for comparisons. Along with this data, scientific evidence of change in the parks’ glaciers includes recent estimates of change in glacial area for all glaciers and measurement of mass balance at eight glaciers in the national parks.  These data were combined to assess changes in basin wide-volume and the glacial contribution to summer streamflow.

Jon Riedel is a geologist with the U.S. National Park Service at North Cascades National Park, and holds a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin (1987) and a doctorate from Simon Fraser University (2007). For more than 30 years his research has focused on the sensitive response of Washington’s glaciers to climate change, from the last ice age 30,000 years ago to modern glaciers.  Riedel’s recent research into the distant past has focused on glaciation of the valley and environmental conditions during the last ice age.

The presentation will include a question-and-answer period. Anyone interested in the topic is encouraged to attend and participate.

The Huxley College Speaker Series, sponsored by Western’s Huxley College of the Environment, is intended to bring together environmentally-minded members of the WWU and Bellingham communities. Speakers address topics of contemporary environmental concern in the region and the world.

WWU’s Huxley College of the Environment is one of the oldest environmental colleges in the nation and a recognized leader in producing the next generation of environmental professionals and stewards. Huxley’s distinctive, interdisciplinary curriculum reflects a broad view of the physical, biological, social, and cultural world, and has earned international recognition for quality.

For more information, please contact WWU’s Huxley College of the Environment at (360) 650-2949 or visit the website: