In the early morning of Aug. 10, 2012, more than half of Jasper National Park’s Ghost Glacier broke free and crashed into Edith Cavell Pond.
In the early morning of Aug. 10, 2012, more than half of Jasper National Park’s Ghost Glacier broke free and crashed into Edith Cavell Pond. The ensuing tidal wave of snow and ice levelled most of the visitor service infrastructure, including, ironically, a Parks Canada interpretive board explaining how climate change is reshaping the alpine.
“More and more, when people head to the mountains they want to learn how human activity is linked to these climate change impacts and want messages to take away and act on in their everyday lives,’” said Elizabeth Halpenny, a University of Alberta tourism, recreation and parks researcher.
To show that climate change messaging is in fact a welcome sight, Halpenny co-authored a study published last year that suggests there may be educational opportunities associated with a new form of travel coined “last chance tourism,” where tourists flock to natural wonders, such as glaciers, before they are gone for good.
She and her team surveyed 399 visitors to the climate-vulnerable Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park to establish whether they were there because of the environmental threat, and to better understand possible communication strategies employed by park agencies and other stakeholders.
Continue reading at University of Alberta.
Image via Getty Images.