Monday, November 24, 2008

Proposaling: dreaming or reality?

A few people have asked, where does the money to do earth science come from? If you have good hypotheses- that are important beyond your immediate peers, and propose tests that will support those hypotheses... sometimes, the government will give you money... there are also other ways, private sponsorship, lottery winnings (similar to being a student on a really cool funded project) but in the Byrd Polar Research Center and other research centers across the USA proposals are written to the National Science Foundation.

I submitted one with Bryan and Jeff and attempt to answer some questions from our previous work in Peru. Why? Most tropical glacier melt is routed through wetlands where potentially toxic metals are rapidly added to streams... people are reliant on this water, water quantity is rapidly changing as glaciers recede. Will issues with water quality precede water quantity issues? Will these issues be worse in the dry season with more variable stream flow? (stream flow is buffered by glacial inputs). At any rate, the water is blood red now (above).... Will it turn neon upon the death of tropical glaciers? Also, think of all the cool things to do with students.

Michael and Carla are already calculating dry season weathering rates- but the wet season is unknown...