Throughout our Colorado journey Rob & I will be partnering with Bozeman, Montana non-profit group Adventurers & Scientists for Conservation (ASC) to collect valuable ecological data for scientific initiatives and reports. I can remember sitting down to read the cover article of Wend magazine’s Across the Andes featuring Gregg Treinish and Deia Schlosberg. I devoured the story and followed their progress. It was exhilarating to follow their path on the internet and through their photography. Gregg has since been named an Adventurer of the Year and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer.
Gregg Treinish dreamt of merging adventure and conservation to better protect our environment and in 2010 formed the ASC. This paired well with the time in my life where I decided to attend Northeastern University for two degrees in Biology & Environmental Science. I have been waiting for an opportunity to participate in Gregg’s efforts and this trip is perfect for two prominent on-going studies. We will also be participating in a general wildlife observation study.
Pika are the smallest member of the rodent family and are abundant in North America. Pika are the natural Pikachu of the Western United States, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Pika are very curious rodents and will often engage with people. They can be used to help model climate change as many pika live in colder climates and on rocky mountainsides. Pika are also keystone species and are an important food source to many carnivores. We will be logging any sightings we have of Pika to assist in a country-wide database to better understand ecological relationships with climate change.
The UC Davis Road Ecology Center has partnered with the ASC to log roadkill sightings and specifications from around country. This data is immensely valuable to society as 82 billion dollars of damage per year are the effect of collisions with animals. So far the ASC has logged over 1,000 roadkill sightings. We will cover hundreds of miles on our bikes and are just the adventurers the ASC is looking for! When Rob & I come across a sighting we will stop and log it!
The projects that the ASC assigns to adventurers and groups are never meant to get in the way of the individual or the journey. Rob & I are excited to give a greater value to our tour by helping out a scientific and outreach initiative at little cost to us.
Main image is from Adventurer’s & Scientists for Conservation