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Mark Brenner teaches a course in Colombia

The UF Geological Sciences Department enjoys long-standing, close ties with several universities in Colombia, where a number of our former PhD students are on the faculty.  Several members of our department have conducted field research in Colombia, served on graduate committees at Colombian institutions, and have ongoing in-country projects.  During the first week of December, Mark Brenner taught a short course at the Universidad Quindío (Armenia, Colombia) on use of paleolimnological techniques to address questions about global change.  The one-week short course was integrated into a longer class on climate change and was attended by about 25 Colombian students and faculty members from several Quindío departments.  The final day of the course involved a hike to the Santa Isabel Glacier, in Los Nevados National Park.  The group departed from Armenia at 2:45 AM and headed by bus to the town of Pereira.  There, they transferred to vehicles owned by the trekking firm Montañas Colombianas, and started the long ascent to the “base camp.”  After a hearty breakfast, it was on to the park entrance and the hike to the glacier tongue, which lies at 4725 m (~15,500 feet).  Beautiful and breathtaking!  But the rapid retreat of the glacier is of great concern to the cities and towns that lie at lower altitudes and depend on its meltwaters.