Landscape Change and Human History of the Athabasca Glacier Area

November 20, 2013. Alwynne B. Beaudoin, Curator, Quaternary Environments, Royal Alberta Museum. 

Sunwapta Pass and the Athabasca Glacier are visited by thousands of people each year as they travel the famed Icefields Parkway, following in the footsteps of the first tourists who marvelled at the glacier in the late 19th century. Easy to access, the area has also been intensively studied by geoscientists and palaeoecologists. Within its small compass, it exhibits considerable diversity of landforms, vegetation, and bedrock. Here, we can find stories of mountain building, ancient volcanoes, flowing ice, tilted trees, climate change and adventurous travellers.