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Session Title

A Conversation Forging New International Connections in Mountain Studies

Presentation #1 Title

A Conversation Forging New International Connections in Mountain Studies

Presentation #1 Abstract or Summary

A Conversation Forging New International Connections in Mountain Studies

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #1

Alton C. Byers, Ph.D. is a mountain geographer, conservationist, and mountaineer specializing in applied research, high altitude ecosystems, climate change, glacier hazards, and integrated conservation and development programs. He received both his B.A. (1975) and doctorate (1987) from the University of Colorado at Boulder, the latter focusing on landscape change, soil erosion, and vegetation dynamics in the Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal. He joined The Mountain Institute (TMI) in 1990 as Environmental Advisor, working as Co-Manager of the Makalu-Barun National Park (Nepal Programs), Founder/Director of Andean Programs, Director of Appalachian Programs, and Founder/Director of Research and Exploration Programs. In 2015 he joined the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at the University of Colorado at Boulder as Senior Research Associate and Faculty. His work has been recognized by the Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal from the Nepali NGO Mountain Legacy; David Brower Award for Conservation from the American Alpine Club; Distinguished Career Award from Association of American Geographers; Ecosystem Stewardship Award from The Nature Conservancy; Honorary Lifetime Member of the Nepal Geographical Society; and as a Senior Fellow at The Mountain Institute. In 2016 he received a Fulbright Specialist award to teach mountain geography at Tribhuvan University, Nepal, and has twice been shortlisted for the Rolex Award for Enterprise. He currently spends between three and six months per year conducting field work in remote mountain regions of Nepal, dividing the remaining time between writing, hiking, and organic gardening. Dr. Byers has published widely on a range of scientific topics, and is an author and co-editor of Mountain Geography: Human and Physical Dimensions (University of California Press at Berkeley, 2013). His most recent book is titled Khumbu Since 1950, a unique collection of historic glacier, landscape, and village photographs of the Mount Everest region that he has replicated over the years.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #3

Jon Mathieu earned his doctorate in history and his habilitation at the University of Berne. He taught in Switzerland and abroad, and directed historical and interdisciplinary projects. The main focus of his research concerns mountain regions in Europe and other continents. He was the founding director of the Institute of the History of the Alps at the University of Ticino 2000 to 2005, and co-editor of the multilingual journal Histoire des Alpes – Storia delle Alpi – Geschichte der Alpen. From 2006, he was professor of modern history at the University of Lucerne and lecturer in environmental history at the ETH Zurich. He held positions in academic institutions such as the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (member of Swiss commitee) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (member of the Research Council). Jon Mathieu was awarded prizes, including the King Albert I. Mountain Award 2008. His latest single-authored books on mountain regions in English are: The Third Dimension. A Comparative History of Mountains in the Modern Era (Cambridge: The White Horse Press, 2011) and The Alps. An Environmental History (Oxford: Polity Press, 2019). The second focus of Mathieu’s research concerns the history of family and kinship. Since May 2018, he is an emeritus, and has embarked on new research and publication projects.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #4

Gilles Rudaz is lecturer and associate researcher in the Department of geography and environment at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Mountain Management at the Institute of Alpine Geography and a PhD in Social and Economic Sciences at the University of Geneva, he was a postdoc at University of California-Berkeley (2006-2007) and then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2007-2010). His research focuses on the social, cultural and political construction of mountains. He examines the processes of how societies conceive mountain areas, environment and societies as specific. He notably published The Mountain: A Political History from the Enlightenment to the Present (Debarbieux & Rudaz, University of Chicago Press, 2015). He has worked on various mountain regions of the world and he is a leading scholar on European and Swiss mountain politics and policies. He published the reference book on Swiss mountain policies (Rudaz & Debarbieux, 2013, 2014).

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A Conversation Forging New International Connections in Mountain Studies

A Conversation Forging New International Connections in Mountain Studies