Newsletter not displaying properly? View in browser.

20 Years of Our Changing Mountains

Friend us on Facebook Friend us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter
Find us online Find us online
Dear MRI Community,

The Mountain Research Initiative Coordination Office celebrates its 20th anniversary this month, and is marking the occasion with a series of special events throughout the year. Twenty years of existence is an important achievement. It warrants gratitude to the many women and men who have contributed time, effort, and vision. Thanks to their commitment, some 12,000 mountain scientists and otherwise interested parties have been able to make the MRI one of their homes.

For twenty years, we have worked to draw attention to the special plight of mountains. The message is increasingly heard but the writing has been on the wall for twenty years, loud and clear. In fact, a recently published re-analysis of MIT's 'World3' model, which was at the heart of the Club of Rome's 1972 book Limits to Growth (LtG), suggests that the worst-case scenarios accurately predicted real-world developments; while this study was carried out by a KPMG director, previous re-analysis obtained similar results. While the business-as-usual scenario 'BAU2' points to societal collapse some time around 2040, the comprehensive technology 'CT' scenario allows for a 'softer landing' once economic growth grinds to a halt in a decade or so. Is this but hyperbole?

LtG redux and other Cassandra-like moments (remember those warnings of a second, third, and fourth Covid-19 wave?) give cause for serious concern. They take concepts such as adaptation and resilience to entirely new levels of relevance, especially in mountain regions. And yet, faced with an apparently limitless capacity of collective forgetfulness, I believe it is worth questioning the  ultimately passive, or at best reactive (and often veering into reactionary), posture of adaptation and resilience, properties of systems we sometimes forget are composed of individuals like you and I.

This is what I wish for the MRI's next 20 years, alongside all the great things it already offers and will continue to do so. I wish that we can make an important and timely contribution to transformation and that this transformation be fundamentally humanist, in the tradition of the Brundtland definition of sustainable development, which emphasizes intra- and intergenerational equity and nature's regenerative capacity. It's a tall order but I am positive we can do it, one connection at a time.

With best regards,

Prof. Jörg Balsiger
MRI Chair

MRI News

As the MRI Coordination Office celebrates its 20th anniversary, we also take this opportunity to reflect on our changing mountains past, present, and future, and the role of the research community in both shaping and telling their stories. In this interactive photo essay, Mary Sanseverino of the Mountain Legacy Project shares some of the amazing work this project has done to capture change in Canada's mountains using the world’s largest collection of systematic high-resolution historic mountain photographs and a vast and growing collection of repeat images.
What are the main challenges impeding sustainable mountain governance at the local level? Professor Catherine Tucker of the University of Florida Center for Latin American Studies explains how new research from the MRI’s Mountain Governance Working Group sheds light on this key question for our changing mountains.

MRI Events

MRI 20th Anniversary Lecture

Register for this free online event by 27 September 2021

Other Upcoming MRI Events

Our session at the 19th Swiss Geoscience Meeting welcomes contributions from all fields of mountain research that support a deeper understanding of the scalability, transferability, and transformative potential of global change research findings. Deadline for abstracts 31 August.
Join us at the AGU Fall Meeting 2021 for the MRI session on 'Global Environmental Change in Mountain Social-Ecological Systems.' The AGU Fall Meeting will be held in New Orleans and online 13-17 December. Abstract submission deadline 4 August 2021.
With new mountain events added regularly, don't forget to check out our online calendar.
View Events Calendar

GEO Mountains News

The GEO Mountains Inventory of In Situ Observational Infrastructure – a compilation of information on in situ observatories and other infrastructure in the mountains of the world – can now be viewed as an interactive web map, with the corresponding dataset also available for download.
This workshop was an opportunity to learn from relevant actors in the Carpathian region, identify existing inventories and databases, and co-design possible next steps. In support of this, stakeholders in the Carpathians are invited to complete our regional data needs survey. 
The Adaptation at Altitude Solutions Portal allows users to access and explore comprehensive knowledge on tried and tested climate change adaptation solutions for mountain regions, see where they have been implemented, and by who. Solutions will continue to be added to the database over time, and those who are interested in contributing their work are invited to get in touch.

Upcoming GEO Mountains Events

Find out more and register by 27 September 2021

Conéctate A+ News

Cluster of Cooperation in the Tropical Andes and Central America Region

The first Conéctate A+ academic exchange webinar took place in July, helping students in the Andes+ region discover study and scholarship opportunities in Switzerland. The webinar can now be viewed in full online, with the presentation slides available to download from the MRI website.
Conéctate A+, the Cluster of Cooperation (CLOC) in the Tropical Andes and Central America region, initiated its second phase this week. The MRI, CONDESAN, and the University of Zurich (Co-Heads) met with the CLOC's Founding Partners to begin developing a work plan.
We encourage the mountain research community to contribute mountain-specific studies this AmeriGEO session at AGU 2021. Abstract submission deadline 4 August.

News From Our Network

"We were surprised by the sheer numbers [...] and by the marked acceleration in formation." A comprehensive inventory of Swiss glacial lakes shows how the lake landscape in the high mountains has changed since the end of the Little Ice Age in around 1850.
"Our work shows that deforestation has now moved into these mountain regions and has accelerated rapidly in the past 10 years." A new study published in the journal Nature Sustainability finds that forests are being cut down at increasingly higher altitudes and on steeper slopes in order to make way for agricultural intensification. 
The International Union for Conservation of Nature have announced a unique partnership with the Swiss National Park, the non-profit partner Porini Foundation, and technology business partner Huawei Switzerland, which aims to enhance nature conservation effectiveness in the Swiss National Park by deploying cutting-edge technology solutions.
A memorandum of understanding between the Science for the Carpathians and the Scientific Network for the Caucasus Mountain Region aims to support closer links between researchers and institutions across the two regions.
This year, the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme celebrates its 50th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the open access journal eco.mont has dedicated a Special Issue to mountain biosphere reserves.


Addressing complex sustainability problems requires more than scientific knowledge. Researchers must collaborate with societal actors from government, business, and civil society, and engage in the co-production of knowledge and action. How can sustainability-oriented networks effectively facilitate co-production?
New Zealand’s Southern Alps are crowned by some of the most accessible glaciers on Earth. Despite the country’s temperate latitude, large glaciers like the Fox and Franz Josef sweep down from the mountains to the coastal rainforest below. However, climate change may be altering that. Low-elevation glaciers like the Fox and Franz are retreating quickly across New Zealand. This is bad news for glacier guides.

Round-Up of New Publications

This list, updated each week, contains articles relevant to mountain research that you won't want to miss this month.
Have an idea for a blog post or mountain news to share?
Get in touch!

New Opportunities

Open Calls

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) calls for nominations of experts to participate in the thematic assessment of the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food, and health (nexus assessment) and the thematic assessment of the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and the determinants of transformative change and options for achieving the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity (transformative change assessment). Interested experts wishing to be nominated by a government are encouraged to fill out their application form by 6 September 2021.
The Glacier Model Intercomparison Project (GlacierMIP) is beginning its third phase. GlacierMIP is a framework for a coordinated intercomparison of global-scale glacier mass change models to foster model improvements and reduce uncertainties in global glacier projections. Submission deadline 1 December 2021.
The Global Adaptation Network Secretariat is gathering evidence on overcoming barriers to ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation and invites contributions from the mountain research community. Survey deadline 30 October 2021.
The Copernicus Medal recognizes innovative work in geosciences or planetary and space sciences, and exceptional efforts in promotion and international collaboration in these disciplines. It is granted to mid-career scientists. Nomination deadline 15 November 2021.
The Pyrenean Climate Change Observatory has begun the second phase of the development of the Pyrenean Climate Change Strategy. The mountain research community are invited to participate in the process by contributing their experience and knowledge through an online survey.

Get Published

Focus Issue Mountain Research and Development: Addressing Challenges of Hazards, Risks, and Disaster Management in Mountain Regions
This Focus Issue of the journal Mountain Research and Development (MRD) seeks trans- and interdisciplinary contributions that help understand the links between hazards, vulnerabilities, disaster management, and diverse dimensions of development, adaptation, and global change. Insights into integrative approaches to improving disaster management across the entire cycle from prevention to recovery are also highly welcome. 
Full paper submission deadline is 1 September 2021. 

Call for Papers: Climate System Uncertainty and Biodiversity Conservation
Manuscripts from the mountain research community are welcomed for a joint Special Issue of the open-access journals Climate and Earth on 'Climate System Uncertainty and Biodiversity Conservation.' The editors encourage submissions on the science of climatic uncertainty and conservation solutions in mountain systems.
Deadline to submit is 31 August 2021.

Special Issue of Journal of Mountain Science: Disaster Risk Reduction in Mountain Areas
This Special Issue of the Journal of Mountain Science (JMS) welcomes contributions that explore the diverse dimensions of disaster risk reduction in mountain regions undertaken by diverse stakeholders.
Submission deadline is 15 September 2021. 

Call for Papers | Nature-Based Solutions to Climate Change
The journal CABI Agriculture and Bioscience invites contributions from the mountain research community to a thematic series on 'Nature-based solutions to climate change.'
Submission deadline 31 December 2021.

Call for Papers | Swiss Journal of Geosciences
The Swiss Journal of Geosciences is an international fully open access peer-reviewed journal and publishes original research and review articles, with a particular focus on the evolution of the Tethys realm and the Alpine/Himalayan orogen.
Check out the MRI website for more open calls and publication opportunities.
More Open Calls


Call for Proposals | European Space Agency – Future Earth Joint Programme: Biodiversity, Climate Impacts on Human Health, Climate Tipping Elements
Seed funding will be made available to support research activities on the use of satellite data to provide empirical evidence of environmental and ecosystem change, and the risk these pose to society. Proposals are particularly welcomed on the themes of biodiversity, climate impacts on human health, or climate tipping elements, to better understand feedbacks, interactions, and instabilities, but note that the call is not exclusive to these themes.
Submission deadline 30 September 2021.

ICIMOD Mountain Prize 2021
In 2021, the focus of this award will be exclusively on work related to the COVID pandemic – any activity or approach carried out in a pandemic-related response aimed at building the resilience of HKH communities.
Deadline for nominations is 30 September 2021.
PAGES-IAI International Mobility Research Fellowship Program for Latin American and Caribbean Early-Career Scientists on Past Global Changes
The program, funded by PAGES, aims to contribute to the development of collaborative research and the promotion of paleoscience networks in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Deadline 30 September 2021. 

Research in Geography or Environmental Science Masters Scholarships
The Environmental Futures group at the University of Dundee, Scotland, has six scholarships for Masters Research in Geography or Environmental Science. The scholarships would cover the costs of the tuition fees for 2021/22.
Anticipated start dates in September 2021 or January 2022.
For a full list of open funding opportunities, please see our website.
All Funding Opportunities

Featured Job

Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL in Davos, Switzerland.
The Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL invite applications for a Professor of Climate Impacts in Mountain Regions to establish a research group on Climate Impacts in Mountain Regions. The joint position will be affiliated with the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Davos and ETH Zurich.
The closing date for applications is 30 September 2021.
A regularly updated compilation of mountain job opportunities can be found on our website.
All Mountain Jobs

The MRI Expert Database

The MRI Expert Database comprises thousands of people involved in mountain research, management, governmental and non-governmental institutions, and the private sector worldwide. Use the database to connect with your colleagues – and sign up so that they can find you, too! 
Join the MRI Expert Database
Copyright © 2021 Mountain Research Initiative. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Mountain Research Initiative
Mittelstrasse 43
3012 Bern

You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the MRI newsletter mailing list.
No longer want to hear from us or need to change your contact details?
You can unsubscribe or update your profile at any time.