MRI News

The International Association of Cryospheric Sciences has announced the establishment of a new Joint Body on the Status of Mountain Snow Cover in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization and the Mountain Research Initiative.

Climate change is impacting the amount and distribution of mountain snow cover over space and time. Knowledge of these changes is of great importance for research and practice, not least given the important role that snow plays for mountain ecosystems, natural hazards, and tourism, as well as providing a source of water for ecosystems and humans. Despite the high relevance of snow in mountain regions, an inventory for mountain snow cover and the underlying processes comparable on a global scale are still lacking. Even regional inventories are strongly limited to a few well-monitored mountain ranges, such as in the U.S. Rockies and the European Alps.

The Mountain Research Initiative is delighted to welcome two new members to our Science Leadership Council, who will provide advice and impetus for our scientific activities. We also extend our sincere thanks to those SLC members who ended their terms in 2021.

The Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) Science Leadership Council (SLC) provides the MRI with direction, priorities, objectives, and advice on scientific or technical requirements for our activities, ensuring oversight for the MRI as a project. MRI SLC members are observers of the strategic environment, are key contributors to research on mountain regions, and – through their own activities – carry forward the MRI's scientific agenda.

Early in 2021, a call for proposals as part of the MRI Synthesis Workshops seed funding programme was issued. A total of eight proposals fulfilled the requirements for further consideration. Of these, two proposals were selected for funding. The first addresses mapping vegetation using high-resolution remote sensing. The second focuses on building a regional network to study carbon dynamics in peatlands along the Andes.

As part of our commitment to support our research community to advance key research questions relevant for knowledge on social-ecological systems in mountains, the MRI continues to make small grants available for MRI Synthesis Workshops. Together with MRI Working Groups, these workshops are part of current MRI Community-Led Activities, which are those activities led primarily by researchers and supported by the MRI Coordination Office through seed funding, and administrative and communications assistance.

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Mountain Research (CIRM) of the University of Lausanne, with the Labex ITTEM, hosted a hybrid workshop on 21-22 October 2021 in Sion, Switzerland, which aimed at offering a space for joint reflection and sharing of experiences on how diverse entities foster scientific research in the mountains. Representatives from the MRI were among those present.

A total of 32 individual researchers attended the workshop at the CIRM premises in Bramois, Sion, with an additional 13 researchers joining proceedings via video conference. The attendees represent some twenty institutions from Alpine countries and international networks. The objectives of this workshop were to (1) share inter- and transdisciplinary research experiences (both successes and obstacles and challenges), (2) discuss the role of this research on transformations towards sustainability, and (3) discuss and explore a possible common future between the different institutions.

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) General Assembly 2021 took place December 13-17. MRI Executive Director Carolina Adler, SLC members Bryan Mark and Shawn Marshall, and Scientific Project Officer Gabrielle Vance convened the session 'Global Environmental Change in Mountain Social-Ecological Systems.'

The GEO Mountains General Meeting 2021 served as a platform for exchange, bringing participants up to speed on recent developments at GEO Mountains and inviting discussion on the activities of Task Groups. GEO Mountains participants also provided key updates on ongoing projects that could contribute to the objectives of GEO Mountains.

The sixth event in the MRI Anniversary Lecture Series took place today, celebrating 20 years since the MRI Coordination Office was founded in 2001. This series aims to showcase MRI synthesis workshop research and build capacity in the mountain research community.

GEO Week 2021 was held 22-26 November, and highlighted the many activities of the GEO work programme that address this years major milestones linked to global policy agendas, such as the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

On Thursday 25 November, GEO Week 2021 focused on the use of Earth observations data to bridge the digital divide. As a part of this, GEO members presented examples of projects and initiatives being undertaken worldwide in order to facilitate full and open access to Earth observation data, thereby promoting policy development and supporting informed decision-making. Among the initiatives participating was GEO Mountains, represented by James Thornton, GEO Mountains Scientific Project Officer, and Carolina Adler, Executive Director of the Mountain Research Initiative and GEO Mountains Co-Lead. 

Newsletter subscription

Login