How is an ‘alpine zone’ defined and how do alpine areas in the northeast differ from areas elsewhere? The second program in Tin Mountain’s Alpine Adult Nature Course series will provide an in depth overview of the White Mountain’s alpine ecosystem and ecology. Join the AMC’s Ken Kimball on Thursday, December 8, from6-9pm to learn more.

Dr. Ken Kimball is the Research Director for the Appalachian Mountain Club.  His academic training includes a BS from Cornell University, a MS from the University of Massachusetts and a PhD from the University of New Hampshire. Before joining the AMC staff in 1983, Ken had worked as an environmental consultant, a research scientist at Cornell, and as a research scientist in Iran for the Smithsonian Institute-Peace Corps Environmental Program, a low point in his career where he was working on the Caspian Seaat minus 89 feet below sea level. Ken has explored numerous ecosystems around the world fromNepal to Africa to Central America.   In addition to alpine ecosystems, Ken’s portfolio at AMC includes overseeing terrestrial and river ecosystem protection and wind power siting initiatives in the northeast.

Alpine ecosystems have always been special to theMount WashingtonValley, small in size and stature but large in shaping the area’s image. The course will take a comparative look at northeastern alpine ecosystems and how they differ from their relatives in the western US,Europe, and the tundra to the north. It will explore the dominant factors that prevent forests from covering our region’s iconic alpine ecosystems today, as well as the importance of micro-topography in determining what alpine plants grow where. After developing a better understanding of the factors that shape our regions alpine ecosystems, the course will review how that knowledge has been applied in the ‘mountain rescue’ of one of the rarest alpine plants in the world to assessing how resistant and resilient these ecosystems will be to new challenges like recreational impacts, air pollution and climate change.  

Program fee of $15/member and $20/non-member. Tin Mountain’s Alpine Adult Nature Course series will continue through the New Year, culminating in a hike up to the White Mountain’s alpine zone to investigate many of the topics first hand. Upcoming topics include alpine wildlife, plant communities, wildflowers, and more. Please check Tin Mountain’s website for the most up-to-date program lising.