Recently, I was asked why I chose to study earth science. Living now in Manhattan, this is of course a valid question. In a city dominated by the built environment, it is human achievement that draws one’s eye and commands one’s attention. The world I come from, however, is more than a little different. Imagine a theatre stage, with a curtain as a backdrop. In New York City, this backdrop is the cityscape. In Alberta, Canada, the backdrop I grew up with was the mountains. Allow me to take you on a little excursion of the world I know – the world I have spent the better part of my university career trying to study and understand.
Athabasca Glacier viewed from Mt. Wilcox, Jasper National Park
The glacier is just one ‘arm’ of the Columbia Icefields that extends down into the mountain valley
The rock figure is an ‘inukshuk’, often built as navigation or reference markers in the wilderness
The Saskatchewan Glacier – another arm of the Columbia Icefields
Moraine Lake and the surrounding peaks, Banff National Park
Lake Louise. The green color comes from very fine rock dust, which forms as glaciers grind away the rocks at their base
Valley of the Six Glaciers
In the fall, the larches turn the valley into a sea of gold
Rivers of rock
This inukshuk reminds me of Superman
The road descends towards the town of Brule
Pyramid Mountain, Jasper National Park
Mount Edith Cavell
Tongues of ice – Angel Glacier
An ice cave below Angel Glacier. Caves may last from several weeks to years
My friend the spoiled chipmunk
And I still think this tree looks like Godzilla
Be warned: you may have just sustained a lethal dose of mostly harmless science.
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