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Glacial Change in Grand Teton National Park



In northwestern Wyoming, the Grand Teton mountain range rises majestically out of Jackson Valley. Its iconic landscape of jagged peaks and gentle valleys has been sculpted by glaciers over hundreds of thousands of years. I fell in love with the Tetons when we arrived there by bicycle as part of the 2015 cross-country Cycle for Science tour. In 2021, I burned out from the pandemic and my Ph.D., I took six months off to work as a Scientist-in-Parks fellow

That summer, I joined the physical science team and traveled throughout the park, studying the glaciers and downstream water quality through a ground-based monitoring program. This work was eventually folded into my Ph.D., and using in situ data collected by the park, historical imagery, LIDAR, and modeling, I examine deglaciation in the Teton range since the Little Ice Age. Teton’s thirteen glaciers are all in decline, rapidly melting and out of equilibrium. Since 1967, the park has lost 58% of its glacier ice extent, and two glaciers (Petersen and Teepe) have almost entirely disappeared.