Glacier Expert Mauri Pelto Interviewed About Government Shutdown’s Impact on National Parks


News blog GlacierHub interviewed Nichols College Environmental Science Professor and Academic Vice President Mauri Pelto, Ph.D., and director of the North Cascades Glacier Climate Project, about how the federal government shutdown impacts the national parks. The story is headlined: “Roundup: Government Shutdown Impacts National Parks.”

Glacier expert and Environmental Science Professor Mauri Pelto, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs at Nichols College

Dr. Pelto, who also works with NASA Goddard and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), told GlacierHub that “the shutdown has prevented some NASA glacier projects and programs from being executed properly. The USGS, which tracks ongoing conditions in the national parks, currently conducts monitoring. Weather and environmental observations at the national parks with glaciers have been collected but are not being reported by the U.S. government, jeopardizing long-term projects.

“’Sometimes shutdowns, even relatively short shutdowns, can push the planning and budgeting process for some of these programs, which can greatly affect future research,’” stated Pelto. He also described the effects on the Northern Cascades National Park in Washington. Roadways are mainly forest roadways, which have also closed as a result of the shutdown. Smaller roadways have not received maintenance since the shutdown, and there are concerns as to how conditions will be once the roads open up again, whenever that may be.”

GlacierHub is funded by the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions under the National Science Foundation Program Decision Making Under Uncertainty (DMUU), with additional support from the MA Program in Climate and Society at Columbia University.

Lorraine U. Martinelle is director of public relations and social media at Nichols College in Dudley, Mass.

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