Gregg Treinish's epic Across the Andes journey in 2006-8 was where he first conceived of the project that would become Adventure Scientists.
Now, ten years after he and Deia Schlosberg completed that pioneering trek, Bethany Hughes and Lauren Reed have followed (at times literally) in their footsteps, while still blazing an incredible trail of their own. Along the way, that team collectively known as Her Odyssey have also contributed data to two Adventure Scientists projects, bringing Gregg's dream full circle in a very adventurous and scientific way.
The goal of the Her Odyssey project is to traverse the entire north-south distance of the Americas through human-powered means. Starting from Patagonia more than 700 days ago, they have just reached a tremendous milestone: the Caribbean Sea.
Gregg recently caught up with Bethany and Lauren on Jon Bowermaster's Green Radio Hour for an hour-long conversation comparing notes and memories of their uniquely shared experience. Ranging across topics including hiking logistics, Andean hospitality, and the thrill and satisfaction of contributing to scientific research through such a grand adventure, it's a chat that gives rare insight into the world of exploration today.
On October 27th, 2018 the two woman Her Odyssey team of Bethany Hughes and Lauren Reed, completed crossing South America. In 730 days they walked and paddled 12,913 km (8,024 mi) across six countries; Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. This completes the South American portion of their five-year endeavor to travel the length of the Americas by non motorized means connecting the story of the land and its inhabitants.
They divided the crossing of the continent into three portions. In November 2015, the two women began walking north from Ushuaia, Argentina. They became the first people to walk the length of the Greater Patagonian Trail, a long-distance route network across the southern Andes. In the second and third seasons, they followed the Qhapaq Ñan, the Inca Empire’s road system, remains of which run from central Argentina to southern Colombia. In this third and final stretch of the continent, they completed the Qhapaq Ñan and integrated paddling 500 km of the Marañón River, the ‘Grand Canyon of the Amazon’ across northern Peru. Colombia was crossed primarily following the Pan-American Highway due to safety concerns.
Besides its core mission of traversing the length of the Americas and connecting stories of the land and its inhabitants, one of Her Odyssey’s values is to promote understanding and appreciation for natural resources and systems. Bethany and Lauren write about their trail experiences here, use what they learn to produce teacher resources in the form of mini lessons, contribute scientific data to Adventure Scientists and trail data to various mapping projects.
Over the next few months the team are pausing to rest, recover, and plan. Next season is set to begin February 2019, when they take to the Caribbean in brand new Trak 2.0 kayaks with Richard, a guide friend, to paddle the first section of Central America. Switching modes of transportation enables the team to tell the story of the Americas from the mountains to the seas.
Thank you all for joining the journey and those of you who are subscribed can still look forward to a couple more posts wrapping up the route and experiences of this season.
Learn more and follow their ongoing journey at her-odyssey.org.
[This post is also viewable on the Her Odyssey blog.]
As the active field seasons for our 2018 projects drew to a close, we asked to see your greatest shots, showcasing the natural beauty in which we explore, collect, and protect.
In return, our awesome partners are honoring the best shots in five categories, each one more or less poetically aligning with their own mission and vision in the world.
Thanks to all the photographers behind the hundreds of entries we received for sharing their unique views of the world with us and the whole Adventure Scientists community.
See the winning photos below, and follow us on social media to learn the story behind each shot in the coming weeks.
By Katie Christiansen
We are thrilled to announce the publication of the results of our Gallatin Microplastics Initiative in the journal Water Research.
Among the key takeaways from our review of the data are the fact that land use around the Gallatin River did not appear to have an effect on the concentration of microplastic particles in the water, and that as the river ran with more water, the concentration of microplastics went down, suggesting that stormwater runoff was not a major source for the microplastics we observed.
Our Gallatin study is the first of its kind to document microplastic pollution within the defined geographic scope of a watershed. For two years, over 120 volunteers hiked, biked, skied, and kayaked to remote regions throughout the Gallatin watershed, a river system that takes its origin in Yellowstone National Park, while collecting nearly 800 samples of water.
These samples were shipped across the country to our partner scientist, Abby Barrows, for processing and analysis in her laboratory in Maine.
Abby is lead author on this peer-reviewed article, written in collaboration with co-authors Dr. Tim Hoellein (Gallatin Microplastic Coalition member and microplastic scientist), Emma Bode (Gallatin volunteer and GIS expert), and me, Adventure Scientists' Microplastics Project Manager.
We are thankful to our volunteers for their dedication to the study and to their commitment to the health of our backyard here in Bozeman. We are excited for the results of this study to contribute to the growing body of knowledge and search for solutions on microplastics pollution.
Read the full paper.
Request access to our Microplastics Toolkit.
By Craig Lloyd
A few years ago I had the privilege of working with Adventure Scientists on a research study about wolverines on the north slope of the Uinta mountains.
That same year National Geographic did a video about the study and how, as ultra runners, we were able to uniquely contribute.
Fast forward three years and that experience still resonates. I recently did an interview with BBC World Service Radio about my involvement. You can listen to it below.
I couldn’t be more grateful for the relationship I’ve maintained with Adventure Scientists and the influence they have had in my life.
"Microplastics is not yet a polarizing environmental issue. I think it's something that presents a lot of opportunities for people all over the world to get involved."––Katie Christiansen, Microplastics Project Manager
When Ryan Warner, host of Colorado Public Radio's daily interview show was looking to discover how the issue of microplastics in the ocean might connect with land-locked states like Colorado, his team knew just where to turn.
Katie Christiansen is the Project Manager for our Microplastics Initiatives, and she now serves additionally as Lead for our entire Projects Team. She joined Ryan for a discussion of microplastics, revealing where they come from, what effects they could be having on living things, and what we can do about it.
From the thousands of water samples collected by our volunteers around the world to the individual bottles collected right here in our home watershed in southwestern Montana, Katie shows that microplastics, while largely invisible to the naked eye, are clear evidence of humanity's impact on the environment, and as such are an ecological issue that resonates with people regardless of their politics, and can unite them to positive action for the environment.
Hear the conversation below:
Read the Landmark Notes blog: