Our trip to Obergurgl or Where are the albedo falls?

In order to meet the requirements for the IB Diploma Programme in Geography, students must conduct a fieldwork investigation, leading to one written report based on a fieldwork question, information collection and analysis with evaluation.

And yes, it is as complex as it sounds.

However, with a little help from friends it can be done. In our case the help came from Dr. Wolfgang Gurgiser from the Institute of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Science at the University of Innsbruck, who supported us with his expertise in the field of snow and ice melt in (peri)glacial areas and climate change.
The location was the Oetz Valley, to be more precise Obergurgl and its surrounding high Alpine mountain ranges and glaciers, where we could spend four days at the University of Innsbruck’s research centre to first measure and collect the data for our research questions and then write up the report that is to be submitted to the IB organization.

The clerk of the weather was on your side when we set off for a two-hour hike up the mountains to find the perfect spot for our investigations. With us, another friend, let’s call him “Ecobot,“ an expert on collecting solar radiation, temperatures, wind speed and humidity (generously provided by Prof. Georg Wohlfahrt from the Institute of Ecology). The DIY measuring sticks were almost as technologically advanced and so we were able to get all the data we needed.

The focus of the two remaining days was on a writing workshop where, once again, we were surrounded by some more friends, this time they turned out to be ourselves. Mission accomplished.

Mag. Martin Steidl and Mag. Peter Samuda