February 28, 2014

The Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources in the Southwestern United States

Figure 1. Observed drought trends in the United States. (EPA, n.d.)

This article was a project for an undergraduate course in atmospheric sciences.

One of the hottest scientific topics in recent history is climate change. As a result of human activities such as deforestation and fossil fuel consumption, the concentrations of various greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased dramatically over the past few decades. The increase in atmospheric concentration is especially true for carbon dioxide, one of the most abundant greenhouse gases found in the atmosphere. As a result of the increase in greenhouse gases, the surface temperature of our planet has been steadily increasing. This warming trend is projected to continue into the future even if drastic changes in human emissions are implemented today.

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September 26, 2013

Back From Geology Field Camp

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I recently spent two weeks down in eastern California completing a geology field course. The course was a requirement for an earth sciences degree and introduced me to various field methods. The best part of the trip was spending each day in the field in one of the coolest places in the county. The White Mountains and Sierra Nevada were incredible.

Creating geological maps and cross sections was really challenging but also rewarding. I think I learned more in the field in two weeks than I did all of last school year. We also got to take a side trip to Yosemite as well as the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest.

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September 2, 2013

Mount Stuart via Cascadian Couloir

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My girlfriend and I, along with a few friends, decided to head up to Washington this past weekend to climb Mount Stuart. Mount Stuart is known as being the single greatest mass of exposed granite in the United States and has an elevation of 9,415 feet.

We chose to approach the summit via the Cascadian Couloir route as it is the least technical. The hike did involve some class 3 scrambling, especially as we approached the summit. In order to make the trip a little easier, we decided to camp on top of Long’s Pass. We then woke up early the next morning and made the trip up to the summit. The hike took much longer than we expected (13 hours) due to the loose rock. We ended up camping a second night after we made it down from the summit.

Overall the climb was a ton of fun. The summit has some amazing views and we even ran into a mountain goat along the way.

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August 17, 2013

Mount St. Helens Guided Climb

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One of the benefits to volunteering on Mount St. Helens is I get to assist with guided climbs to the crater rim. The climb I did this past weekend was a Geology on High climb where a geologist leads the climb and talks about the different features of the mountain. I learned a lot of new and interesting things about Mount St. Helens past and also enjoyed seeing the clients make it up the mountain for the first time.

The weather started out really nice but by the top we reached the crater rim the clouds had moved in. We did get small break in the clouds which gave us a small glimpse into the crater.

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August 12, 2013

A Weekend on Mount Adams

Standing at the summit

Over the past seven weeks I have been taking a mountaineering and climbing course with the Mazamas, a mountaineering organization here in Portland. In order to practice roped glacier travel and snow climbing, we spent the past few days up on Mount Adams in Washington. Camping at 9,000 feet was a lot of fun and offered some amazing views of the Cascade Mountains.

The best part about the trip was summiting on the final morning. The weather was perfect and the view from over 12,000 feet was amazing. It was a great experience and I learned a lot during the practice sessions. Mount Adams is now the highest mountain that I have climbed in the Pacific Northwest.

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July 26, 2013

Perfect Day on Mount St. Helens

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Today turned out to be a great day to spend volunteering on Mount St. Helens. The weather was perfect and the views from the crater rim were awesome. There were a lot of people on the mountain today and I got to talk to quite a few different groups.

Despite climbing the mountain a bunch of times this year, it is still my favorite mountain in the Cascades. I am still fascinated by the crater and the view never gets old.

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