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The Oregon Glaciers Institute has three main initiatives that are designed to benefit the State of Oregon and its Citizens:

1) determine past and present numbers of Oregon glaciers

2) measure changes in glacier health

3) project the future of Oregon's remaining glaciers

Glacier Numbers

Glacier Health

Glacier Future

A century ago, Oregon had more than 50 glaciers. Today, how many remain? This project is to document the number of glaciers in Oregon at the start of the 20th century and determine how many of those glaciers remain today. 

A glacier's health is determined by its mass balance: how much snow falls in the winter and how much ice melts in the summer. OGI makes detailed measurements of these variables to determine the current state of glaciers in Oregon. 

These observations allow projections of the fate of Oregon's remaining glaciers. How many will remain in 2050? 2100? What will be the attendant change to Oregon's ecosystems and economies? OGI answers these pressing questions.


Our field areas are the volcanoes of the High Cascades and the Wallowa Mountains. We measure yearly changes in the dimensions of all of Oregon's remaining glaciers. In addition, we maintain one mass balance glacier for each glaciated region: Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters Wilderness (the glaciers left in the Wallowa Mountains are too small to justify such measurements). 

We utilize citizen scientists in our research projects. Photographs of glaciers always help grow our archives of glacier change. Field observations are invaluable for reconstructing glacier change. If you have Oregon glacier photos you would like to contribute, please click on this link HEREPlease contact us to see how you can get involved. 

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