The Alpine Glacier Project – Our History

The Alpine Glacier Project holds the longest homogenous data series of Alpine glacier meltwater quality and quantity in the world. Throughout its 40 year plus history, it has been affiliated with the Universities of Manchester, Oxford and Salford in the UK, and Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.

The AGP was established by Professor David N. Collins, D.Sc, with fieldwork beginning in Zermatt, Switzerland in 1974.

Throughout its history, the project has maintained data collection in the Zermatt region at Findelen and Gorner glaciers during summer months. As well as a significant list of internationally circulated peer-reviewed scientific publications, generations of students at both undergraduate and graduate levels have participated in fieldtrips, dissertation projects and higher degree research as part of the project. Many student and AGP members have become glaciological scientists in their own right, or have had successful careers outside of academia.

In 1998, Professor Collins was awarded the Busk Medal by the Royal Geographical Society – one of its four senior awards – for contributions to understanding field processes in mountain environments: “a long and productive research career based around sustained field measurements … recognised as one of the country’s leading experts on the geomorphology of mountain regions  … enthusiasm for empirically-based field research…has inspired generations of students in field science”.