Experiential program explores winter ecology in the White Mountains

A new experiential program offered in cooperation with the Appalachian Mountain Club will bring students into the White Mountains of New Hampshire next January to learn about winter ecology and experience backcountry winter hiking firsthand.

Led by Dr. Jameson Chace, professor in the Department of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, along with AMC guides, “Winter Ecology: Life in the Snow” will run from Jan. 4-10, 2019. Applications are due by Thursday, Nov. 15. To apply, visit the study abroad website.

The non-credit, seven-day program will begin at the AMC facilities at Pinkham Notch, where students will stay overnight and be oriented to concepts of winter ecology, fitted with equipment and introduced to winter hiking techniques and considerations. The group will then head out for a multi-day hike to an AMC hut or tent site.

“Studying plants and animals in extreme conditions has always given biologists great insights into evolutionary patterns and processes,” Chace said. “Going to the White Mountains and experiencing winter as the plants and animals we will study will leave long-lasting impressions.”

Students will read material about adaptations to winter and the mountains and then explore those conditions and environments in depth. Participants should be prepared for a variety of outdoor conditions and be willing to take part in a range of strenuous outdoor activities.

“With the right gear and attitude, winter can be a great experience,” Chace said. “The AMC provides the best gear to get us into the backcountry of the White Mountains, and I have found that Salve students always have the best attitudes on study abroad trips. Life thrives below zero degrees and we are going to find it.”

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