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Putnam to speak about Bhutan research trip

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

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University of Maine at Presque Isle faculty member David Putnam will present a talk about his recent research trip to Bhutan on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center. His talk, Climate Change in Shangri La: Glacial Research in the Bhutan Himalaya, is free and open to the public.

Putnam, archaeologist and UMPI Lecturer of Science, will discuss his participation in an international research expedition to Bhutan organized by Columbia University. He joined his son Dr. Aaron Putnam, a glacial geologist and post-doctoral research associate at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, on the trip—the very first significant scientific expedition into the high Himalayas of Bhutan.

The trip, which took place from Sept. 23 to Oct. 19, included research team members from the U.S., Sweden, Bhutan, and New Zealand. The international research team spent its time investigating the causes of and potential solution for glacial outburst flooding in the region by reconstructing the past and present behavior of glaciers in the high Himalayas and identifying how changing climate may have impacted them.

The results of the expedition could have far-reaching impacts on issues ranging from climate change to the future of water resources in southern Asia.

Putnam will share the details of his adventure trekking into the high Himalayan pass of Rinchen Zoe, the research he was able to do while there and its future impacts, and the close call he and his son had in leaving the mountain pass. He will also discuss his observations of Bhutanese culture and everyday life.

While Putnam has participated in many research trips around the world, he said he felt this expedition in particular was one that should be shared with the greater community.

For more information about this free event, please contact the Community and Media Relations Office at 768-9452.