NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Lauren Neitzke Adamo has long enjoyed hiking along trails and through forests and over rock formations largely to see the natural surroundings.
“I’ve been a huge science nerd all my life,” said Adamo, who has a doctorate degree and is co-director of the Rutgers University Geology museum in New Brunswick.
Next month Adamo will head to the Swiss Alps to work with a team to study the speed of glacier melting as part of a long-time educational effort to measure the effects of climate change.
Adamo was selected to participate in PolarTREC or Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating.
The 10-year-old program is administered through the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, which is based in Fairbanks Alaska.
It sends teachers on trips for hands-on field research projects.
“The PolarTREC program primarily focuses on research that is happening at the poles,” Judy Fahnestock, project assistant for the PolarTREC program. All the participants write plans for using their experience in an educational program.
Adamo will study the ground where glaciers formed more than 20,000 years ago and have since melted. The intent, Adamo said, to study moraines, the accumulation of rock debris carried or deposited by glaciers.
“Glaciers act as big bulldozers. It pushes away everything in the way,” Adamo said. There are moraines in the area that resulted from the ice, including the site of the Woodbridge Mall, as well as most of Long Island
This study is intended to look at how the land formations impact or contribute to the melting of glaciers.
Adamo leaves for the trip Aug. 5 and won’t be done until Aug. 28. Much of the work with the team of other educators and researchers will be hiking a couple hours into the mountains each day and deploying drones to record video the formations of several areas.
“The views are going to be spectacular,” she said. Still, she said, it will be work. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous about hiking in the Alps.”
She has already been on trips to Alaska and Iowa for training sessions. Adamo has also been to schools in Middlesex and Mercer counties talking with students about the project.
On Aug. 23 she will be streaming live from the project. You can get information here to get the live stream.