I am fascinated by earth-water-atmosphere interactions, and from an early age discovered a love of mountains. The culmination of my multi-disciplinary educational path was an Earth Sciences doctoral dissertation focused on deglaciation in the tropical Andes, out of which spawned ideas and questions that motivate this research group. I have come to appreciate tropical glaciers as climatically sensitive components of the cryosphere that literally crown the terrestrial hydrological cycle. Even though the vast majority of fresh water on this planet resides in much larger polar ice caps, it is arguable that these smaller, low-latitude ice masses are more directly linked to people. They exist on remote mountains and buffer surface water availability in underdeveloped nations within the heavily populated tropical regions of our planet that are also source of heat driving global climate. It has been estimated that one-sixth of humanity relies on snow and ice melt for sustaining their water supplies. Changes to tropical glaciers over different scales thus elucidate important climate information, and also impact to human society. Our group conducts different aspects of transdisciplinary research to quantify and trace the changes of these remote ice masses through space and time.
Gabo Zeballos (PhD Student)
Gabriel is deeply interested in the Andes and the impact that global and climate change has upon the ecosystems and society. At college, Gabriel focused his research first on environmental quality using plant biomonitoring (BS in Biology), and later on tropical alpine landscapes change, examining the relationships between glacier retreat and the associated downstream wetlands using satellite imagery (BS in Geography). He is currently a grad school student in the Department of Geography, and his interest is to enhance the understanding of wetlands in tropical alpine ecosystems.