Andrew Fountain, professor and chair of Geology at PSU, and Jim O'Connor, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Oregon Water Research Center, take students and OPB's Oregon Field Guide to view the Three Sisters' Collier Glacier in Central Oregon. By retracing footsteps of early photographers who captured the glacier a century ago, researchers have chronicled the drastic disappearance of Collier, once Oregon's largest glacier.
"It's really tough to get rid of a glacier," says Fountain, who has studied glaciers throughout the Western U.S. and around the world. With current warming trends, he gives Collier "a couple hundred years."
Show Description: For more than a century, photographers have been taking pictures of the Three Sisters’ Collier Glacier. What they didn’t know was they were also documenting the dramatic retreat of Oregon’s largest glacier. USGS Geologist Jim O’Connor takes us to this beautiful area to take this year’s photo and learn what it all means from PSU glaciologist Andrew Fountain.
Original air date: February 23, 2012