A LOUGHBOROUGH University student is aiming to raise £3,400 to fund a five-week expedition to the Himalayas to conduct vital research into the impact of climate change.
Sam Nunn, 22, is a final year Masters student in Chemical Engineering, originally from Southampton.
The expedition is organised by the British Exploring Society and aims to investigate the rate at which the Drang Drung glacier in the Ladakh region of the Indian Himalayas is melting, among other things.
“For me this expedition is a culmination of long standing passions for both science and adventure, and comes after study and work abroad in France, Germany, and Taiwan, as well as participation in various endurance sports events over my time at university,” said Sam.
“We will be assessing how far the Drang Drung glacier has receded in the past year, and comparing our data to that collected during an expedition to the same region last year.
“As well as this, we will be monitoring plant and animal life, and looking at weather patterns across the region.
“We will also be doing some work on the response of the human body to high altitude, and the psychological challenges of spending five weeks at altitude in a small team.
“The Himalayan glaciers are known as a ‘the water towers of Asia’, and act as reservoirs for a large section of the population of northern India and Pakistan.
“Our research into understanding the rate at which they are melting is vital, therefore, to ensuring that these people have a consistent water supply in years to come.
“In addition to this, as glaciers recede the landscape tends to become more heavily forested at higher altitudes, which can have devastating effects for alpine species such as the snow leopard.
“These animals are adapted to hunt on ice, snow, and rocky crags, and therefore struggle to hunt in newly forested zones.
“Through desperation they attack livestock, which leaves them in danger of being shot by farmers protecting their livelihoods.”
Sam added: “In order to go on the expedition, I must raise £3,400 (or approximately £100 per day) which will go towards scientific equipment, personal training, and provisions for the trip.
“I would be really grateful of the support of anybody who may be interested in helping me reach my goal, and would welcome sponsorship from businesses for one or more days of the trip.”