The use of remote sensing (RS) and geographic information systems (GIS) in mapping and monitoring glaciers can help professionals working in the Hindu Kush Himalaya gather data more efficiently while conducting research. The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) recently organized a five-day training on using RS and GIS to map and monitor glaciers in the HKH to help students and professionals working with ICIMOD implementation partners in Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan incorporate RS and GIS use into their practice.
The participants came from the National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM), Bhutan; Karakoram International University (KIU), Pakistan; the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM), Nepal; Water and Energy Commission (WECS), Nepal; Kathmandu University (KU), Nepal; and Tribhuvan University, Nepal’s Central Departments of Geography, Geology, and Hydrology and Meteorology, and the Department of Geology, Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus, Nepal.
During the training, Iram Bano, a participant from Pakistan, talked about studying glaciology and being one of the first women glaciologists from her community. Bano has an MSc by Research in Glaciology from Kathmandu University, Nepal and is currently a Research Associate (Glaciology) at the Department of Earth Sciences, Karakoram International University, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan. “It is good to be back in Kathmandu and at ICIMOD to attend the training,” she said. “I can replicate what I learnt here in my work and future research. Such research skills are essential for my country.”
"I learned about attributes of GIS and eCognition software, and the application of these tools to monitor and analyze glaciers. These skills will be useful in hazard mapping when landslides and floods occur as well as for geological mapping for the development of minerals and tectonic interpretations."
Central Department of Glaciology, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
"I found that the eCognition developer is very useful for image analysis. This training will definitely help me apply my skills to map the glaciers of Bhutan. It will also help with getting information while carrying out glacier-hydrological studies."Tshewang Rigzin
"Studying trends related to glacier area will provide useful input to runoff modelling and to analyzing climate change impact. This will help in making sustainable water management plans and contribute partly to water policy. "Sabina Kharbuya