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Dr. William Taylor's Research Featured in PLOS One and Science News

Departmental News

Posted:  Jan 02, 2020 - 02:00pm

The research of Dr. William Taylor, UNM alum and Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, was recently featured in Science News. In the article, The Loss of ‘Eternal Ice’ Threatens Mongolian Reindeer Herders’ Way of Life, Dr. Taylor discusses the importance of 'eternal ice,' noting: "The ice is an important source of freshwater for families, and reindeer lie on it to cool themselves and seek respite from biting insects...Without the cooling and insect-suppressing ice, the herders told researchers, the animals are more vulnerable to parasite-borne illnesses, and are also increasingly heat-stressed, which reduces their immunity to disease." He and his colleagues recount these people’s ethnographic history, increasingly recognized as an important part of documenting ongoing climate change, in a study published online November 20 in PLOS ONE. “The really troubling stories were the ones where the families took us to where patches used to be, and now they are just barren rock faces,” Taylor says. “The term munkh mus —it’s a term of respect,” he adds. “They don’t use ‘eternal’ lightly in the Mongolian language. And the loss is, in many ways, felt as a tragic one.” Read the full article here  

The full PLOS ONE article, Investigating Reindeer Pastoralism and Exploitation of High Mountain Zones in Northern Mongolia Through Ice Patch Archaeology, can be accessed here