HUC - IHCAP Glacier Monitoring Training 2018

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The Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) – an Initiative under ICIMOD’s regional programme on Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks (MKAN) – has its mandate in developing an effective, sustainable network of universities in the HKH, in collaboration with academic, research and knowledge generating and exchange institutions both within and outside the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region.

Glacier mass balance, surface elevation, and area changes are Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) as defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They are among the most important climate indicators from a science-policy communication perspective because glacier change is often visible and easily quantifiable, and as a result, more comprehensible to the general public. For this reason, glaciers have become iconic climate change indicators. Consistent long-term glacier monitoring programmes, however, are sparse in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region.

ICIMOD has collaborated with partners to build capacity and establish glacier mass balance programmes in the HKH since 2011. The Universities of Fribourg and Zurich, Switzerland, maintain multiple monitoring programmes in the Alps. As a core competence, they have built capacity in Switzerland, and internationally with partners in India and several countries in the Andean and Central Asian region. ICIMOD carries out HUC–IHCAP Glacier Monitoring Training for students and young professionals from its regional member countries (RMCs) in collaboration with Swiss and Indian experts to promote sustainable and consistent monitoring programmes. The main objective of the training is to educate participants on glacier monitoring and its relevance and context in view of cryosphere and climate science, and to teach and practice international monitoring method standards.

The training consists of a theoretical section (Part I) for a larger group of participants (maximum 20) and a field-based section (Part II) for a smaller group (maximum 9).

Part I will provide participants information on international strategies and monitoring protocols for glacier monitoring, and understand their relevance, context, and theoretical background. Methods will be taught, instruments demonstrated, and exercises conducted to help participants analyse and understand global glacier monitoring parameters. Trainees will be introduced to the health, safety, and risk aspects of field work at remote, alpine, high-altitude sites, and given instruction on how to reduce risks and respond to them. Trainings on altitude-related illnesses and basic mountaineering techniques are high priority.

Part II will have participants learning how to conduct measurements and apply their theoretical knowledge in the field. Participants will practise basic mountaineering skills and experience the high-elevation alpine environment with its risks and challenges.

Click here for more information about the announcement, and submit your online application by 10 August 2018.