Graduate students speak at middle school about Everest expedition, Sun Journal reports – P. Strand & L. Mattas

The Sun Journal reported University of Maine graduate students Peter Strand and Laura Mattas gave a presentation about their experiences on the National Geographic and Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Mount Everest at Bruce M. Whittier Middle School in Poland, Maine. Strand, a Ph.D. candidate at the Climate Change Institute, and Mattas, a master’s student in the CCI and School of Earth and Climate Sciences, were part of a multinational team of scientists and Nepalese researchers and Sherpa guides who collected data from glaciers, snow, water, sediment and rocks to provide real-time and historical information about climate and other factors affecting the world’s ecosystem, the article states. The expedition was led by Paul Mayewski, director of the CCI and professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences. It set a world record as the most comprehensive single scientific expedition to the mountain in history, and included drilling the world’s highest ice core at 8,020 meters above sea level, according to National Geographic. The drill used was modified by UMaine’s Advanced Manufacturing Center. “The expedition is really just the start of our science,” said Strand. “So we have a whole number of laboratory steps and this is where we really produce the data and this is what allows us to tell exactly how the climate is changing, how the biology is changing, how fast the glacier is retreating, how fast the weather is changing, and what the former composition of the atmosphere there was like.” Strand’s biggest takeaway from the expedition is how fast the region is changing, according to the article. “The glaciers are melting and being rearranged because of the warming mountains. This is why it is so important to deliver the message with our photos and accounts,” he said.