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Published:July 8th, 2011 13:26 EST
Indiana Jones is Out! Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation is Officially IN!

Indiana Jones is Out! Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation is Officially IN!

By Tom Ski

Hello, readers!  I`ve been waiting for this!  I am so proud to present all of you with another look at the amazing organization, Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC).  A few weeks back I spoke about this absolutely incredible group of people who I wished, with all my heart, all of you out there would dedicate your time and energy to.  And you know what?  You listened!  You went to this site and you saw the ASC vision - a vision that is truly beyond fantastic, as they are dedicated to saving our natural resources.  You saw the incredible work they are doing and read about the scientists and adventurers who combine their skills and incredible talents, in order to gain the knowledge necessary to improve the deteriorating environmental conditions across the globe.   


There is a very real and vital reason why ASC exists.  This group of people BELIEVE that it is only through true scientific understanding of the perils a location faces that management decisions should be made.  Let`s be honest, if you haven`t watched the news in the past few years, the significant growth of our population (not to mention, the I don`t care attitude that has come along with it) has caused our bad decisions to become even worse.  The adverse effects that we are having on our own environment continue to grow, and every single day it becomes more vital for society to change.  
   

ASC knows that a great void exists in our understanding of our impacts on the planet.  No, I`m not preaching, I`m worried - and, thankfully, I am not the only one.  When you look back in history, there was once a very simple understanding of the planet.  Humans worked the earth, they maintained the environment, and now things have changed for the worse.  It would be so easy to change back - to deal with the present condition and collect the data that is necessary to shed light on these mistakes we`ve made and learn how to correct them - IF we start NOW!  AND, ASC has provided a way to do this that won`t be expensive, time consuming, or physically challenging, because ASC is smart enough to use our own human resources to solve our environmental difficulties.  We have a great deal of human resources YOU are one!

ASC organizes research projects in remote areas.  They combine brilliant scientific minds with adventurers and athletes - the people who can not only withstand travel and the hardships of the wilderness, but are actually made for it and enjoy the process.   There are also ambassadors of the outdoors who haven`t yet reached their full potential BUT want to do more for the areas they travel in - they simply need to acquire the skills to do so.  ASC harnesses the unique abilities of people who are already traveling to difficult-to-reach areas, and provides the world with the opportunity to learn about these areas on an unprecedented scale.

Yes, there are other organizations that have worked to gather scientific data, but none have specifically utilized the unique skills of climbers, mountaineers, divers, paddlers, and other adventurers to gather this data.  There are thousands of people in remote areas every single day who are ready, willing, and more than able to help protect our planet`s most vital resources, and ASC provides the tools to do so!

ASC objectives are simple.  They wish to mobilize an army of citizens/scientists and create an avenue for the science community to gather inexpensive, reliable, and otherwise unattainable data from around the world.  They wish to give adventure athletes a set of tools to help conserve and maintain the wild places they visit.  ASC inspires recreational outdoor users to effectively use their time in the wild to advance conservation science and promote wise decisions.   AND they do all this by gaining our support - the public - who NEED to understand and listen in order to preserve these natural places.
   

June was a big month for ASC, because YOU out there have heard and listened, which makes this writer even MORE honored to speak with fantastic people like yourselves.  ASC continued to gain momentum!  In the five short months since ASC incorporated, they have reached an ever-growing audience of supporters who have now visited their website from 114 countries around the globe.  There is nothing else to say but thank you, AND "BECOME A MEMBER!  If you do, you not only receive pride, but you also receive a free copy of the documentary Connecting the Gems if you join by July 15th.   And, YOU want this documentary - trust me! (www.adventureandscience.org/membership.html)   

MORE fantastic news?  There were successfully completed expeditions in June. and you will be so excited to hear about them!   

Justin Lichter and Shawn Forrey recently completed the Great Himalaya Trail.  They walked from the Western most 8000m peak to the Easternmost 8000m peak of the Himalayas through snow, rain, collapsing bridges, and more.  (These adventurers would make Indiana Jones get to his knees and say I`m not worthy!)  During this incredible expedition, Justin and Shawn successfully contributed to a bar-headed geese survey for researcher Jessica Meir.  These explorers also contributed to April Craighead`s  `pika research.`  We all give a HUGE shout-out of thanks to Shawn and Justin for their scientific efforts!   

(To learn more about these and other projects you can take part in please visit:

www.adventureandscience.org/data-requests.html   

Not done!  Clark Corey recently led a group of Prescott College students through the remote wilderness of the Chugach Range in Alaska.  While climbing, mountaineering, and trekking, the team collected data and samples for researcher Roman Dial on Ice Worms.  Again, these students deserve a HUGE thank you!   

(Read the blog post and look at photos from the expedition here:

http://www.adventureandscience.org/2/post/2011/07/prescott-college-returns-to-civilization.html   

Upcoming expeditions are in place for the following locations, as well:  Madagascar, East Africa, Guyana, Alaska (Brooks Range, Denali), Pennine Alps, Pakistan, Belgium, Netherlands, Canada, and The US of A. (God Bless!)    

And the projects are immense!  Now that summer has arrived, ASC is offering several training sessions for those interested in participating in their grizzly bear survey and tracking project.  (PLEASE email at grizzly@adventureandscience.org if you are interested in being involved and will be around the area.)  The first sessions will likely be at the end of July - coming soon - and ASC will send out more information as soon as it`s available.  Wouldn`t that be fantastic?  On your own vacation, while you`re already having a blast, you can HELP!  There is no better vacation than that!    

Personally, from this writer`s viewpoint, ASC is one of the most amazing organizations to come into our lives for quite a long time.  The more I get to know about ASC, the more I respect the members of ASC who are truly phenomenal individuals.  Some, literally, come from generations of legendary scientists and adventurers.   

As I promised the last time we spoke, I will be introducing you to current and ongoing projects that ASC is working on.  The first time, we went over a very amazing project dealing with the serious issues surrounding the Greater Yellowstone area.  With ASC`s project, Whitebark Pine & Grizzly Bears,  I told you that ASC is working tirelessly on bettering the future for the grizzly bear.  This time around, I want to call your attention to ASC`s Wolverine Study.      

Volunteers have the opportunity to assist in a more thorough documentation of wolverine populations on the Gallatin and Helena National Forests.  The primary objective of this project is to identify as many individual wolverines as possible, through the collection of DNA samples; AND to document wolverine habitat use patterns and travel routes.  To accomplish what seems like a monumental and impossible task, ASC is employing two methods of data collection:  The back-tracking of wolverine trails to search for and collect scat and hair samples, and to document wolverine travel routes and behaviors; and hair-snaring devices that will be set up and monitored in backcountry locations.

Volunteers must be skilled in winter backcountry travel and survival, avalanche awareness, map-reading, and route-finding.  The amazing opportunities for adventurers and backcountry enthusiasts include:  conducting single day or multi-day back-tracking sessions on wolverine trails, as a solo or group effort; assisting the amazing biologists of Wild Things Unlimited (WTU) in the set-up or monitoring of hair-snaring stations; and, committing to setting up and monitoring one or more hair-snaring stations on your own, after receiving training from the WTU biologists.

This is a much-needed project, people.  By providing valuable information on the numbers, distributions, and behavior of wolverines, this project will assist wildlife and land managers, as well as conservation organizations in their efforts to conserve wolverines and their habitat in the Rocky Mountains.  Again!  Can you imagine being a part of something that will, literally, maintain and help the next generation have a better life?  A better environment?  These projects and expeditions are true GIFTS, and I say - give yourself that gift and you will NOT be disappointed.

In fact, to participate in this study, all you have to do is contact wolverine@adventureandscience.org to get started on making a HUGE difference!
   

No one is left out of the work that ASC is doing!  ASC works with several conservation organizations to design, recruit participants, and implement citizen-science programs.  Through the leaders of the outdoor industry, ASC taps into everybody from outdoor enthusiasts to professional adventure athletes who are visiting remote locations on a regular basis.  ASC includes adventurers who want to do something for this world.  They are given that opportunity when ASC partners " them up with a scientist who needs data collected.  And, for the scientist?  There are people traveling around the world to explore remote areas of the globe who are ready, willing, and able to collect data that is reliable and cost effective.  ASC gives you the opportunity to develop protocols with your adventurer before they leave.    

And even gear companies aren`t left out!  ASC knows that many get hit up for sponsorship, but the ASC vets your sponsorship proposals to ensure their scientific and conservation value which absolutely frees up your company`s time and resources and, most importantly, gives you the ultimate sense of security about the potential for a positive environmental impact of the projects you support. sponsorship@adventureandscience.org 

AGAIN!  I am so excited about the ASC, and I can feel the excitement radiating from the rest of you.  Just look and read about all you have done already to make this world a better pace to live!!!    

Join NOW!  ASC survives almost exclusively on support from YOU, and this is one organization that YOU will WANT to support!  Give yourselves a pat on the back!     

Until Next Time, Everybody!   

For more information, go NOW to:   

www.adventureandscience.org

www.adventureandscience.org/membership.html

 



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