Science Sandwich – 2020 Program

In 2018, CREA Mont-Blanc launched a series of scientific seminars open to the public. Once a month (typically on a Tuesday), you are invited to the Mont-Blanc Observatory , home of CREA Mont-Blanc to meet researchers studying issues that affect the mountains.  As the name “Science Sandwich” would suggest, the conference series occurs midday, from 12:30 to 1:30, and you are encouraged to bring your lunch with you.   Seminars occur in both French and English depending on the topic and the speaker. 

September 2019 Science Sandwich: “Will our glaciers make a comeback in the foreseeable future, or should we be getting out our swimsuits instead?” with Luc Moreau, glaciologist, Chamonix Glaciology Association, in the footsteps of Joseph Vallot

The 2020 Program

Science Sandwich # 5 – POSTPONED Tuesday, November 10th (in French)

“CHAMOUNY: using a role-playing game to envision different adaptations to the environmental crisis”With Nicolas Nova, Associate professor at HEAD Geneva and co-founder of the Near Future Laboratory.

Chamouny is a research project at the intersection of anthropology and design, aiming to create a role playing game that uses a study of the Chamonix Valley to allow players to understand and anticipate the stakes of adapting to environmental crises. The game will take an innovative approach to the ecological transition, proposing a participatory and prospective approach to imagining future lifestyles.

In order to allow for maximum social distancing, this Science Sandwich will take place at Plan B à Chamonix. In accordance with COVID-19 restrictions, signups are mandatory (please e-mail and masks are required. As a result, you unfortunately cannot eat during the conference. Plan B is proposing a selection of sandwiches and snacks at a reduced price, and you are also still welcome to bring your own lunch to eat there before or after.

The conference will be posted in the following weeks on our Youtube channel. 

Science Sandwich # 6 – POSTPONED Tuesday, December 8th (In French)

Stone pines taking flight: a discovery of the spotted nutcracker – a bird that gives trees wings!” with  Noémie Bugnon, BS HES-SO in Gestion de la nature

The Spotted nutcracker (also known as the Eurasian nutcracker) survives winters in the mountains thanks to stashes of nuts that it collects from stone pine trees.  By hiding the nuts across the extent of their territory, the nutcracker allows these trees to reach high summits, making them the highest tree found in the region.  Join us at this conference, which will present Noëmie’s work during bachelors, and discover the highly specialized relationship between these two species.

Tuesday, March 24th (in French). POSTPONED to a later date.

“What can we learn about biology from mountain-dwelling plants?” with Dr. Sébastien Lavergne, Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, CNRS – Université Grenoble Alpes

Contrary to what many people imagine, the high mountains are not devoid of living things. Instead, they are home to discreet and largely unknown ecosystems full of plants, arthopods, arachnids and micro-organisms. Join us to learn how studies of these high mountain ecosystems, and specifically their plants, can provide new and unexpected naturalistic discoveries, and shed new light on some of biology’s biggest questions.

Tuesday, April 14th (in French). POSTPONED to a later date

“Why understanding human relationships is key for coexisting with large carnivores.” with Lou Lecuyer, Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement (INRAE)

Tensions can often arise around the subject of protection of large carnivores (which are known to occasionally attack livestock). Managing conflicts between different interest groups is key for the conservation of these often threatened species. This Science Sandwich will draw parallels between a case study managing jaguars in Mexico and the protection of large carnivores in France, challenging us to go beyond technical and biological questions, and dive into human relationships and the tricky subjects of justice, trust and tolerance.

Infos pratiques

You’ll have lots of opportunities to meet the CREA Mont-Blanc team in 2020! Pack your sandwich and hike over to the Mont Blanc Observatory to join us as we learn more about what’s going on in the mountains around us.  Seminars will be led both by researchers from CREA Mont-Blanc as well as visiting academics eager to share their passion for flora, fauna and mountain environments.

If you are a researcher visiting Chamonix and interested in meeting the CREA Mont-Blanc team and/or sharing your work at a Science Sandwich conference, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Science Sandwich Chamonix

At the Mont-Blanc Observatory
67 lacets du belvédère
74400 Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
From 12:30 to 1:30 pm

Bring your own bag lunch.
FREE – Space is limited
Exchanges will occur in French or in English, depending on the presenter and the topic

Previous 2020 Editions:

Science Sandwich #4: “From impacts to adaptation:  understanding climate change and the Alp’s iconic glacier tourism sites” With Emmanuel Salim, PhD candidate at EDYTEM Laboratory.

Science Sandwich #3: “Living time: taking inspiration from nature” (in French), with Irene Alvarez, Program Director at CREA Mont-Blanc. This event took place as part of the Temps des Possible Festival.

Science Sandwich # 2 : “Air quality at the foot of Mont-Blanc: separating the facts from the fiction”, with Anne Lassman-Trappier, President Inspire, and air quality advisor for the France Nature Environnement national federation.

Science Sandwich #1 : “The impacts of climate change on alpinism in the Mont-Blanc range: Evolution of high mountain routes, impacts on climbers and new tools to help decision-making” with Jacques Mourey, postdoctoral researcher at EDYTEM Laboratory

Science Sandwich 2019 Highlights

Are adaptation and migration really the only strategies that alpine plants can use if they want to survive climate change on our mountaintops?” with Christophe Randin

Disturbances of emblematic wildlife by outdoor recreationists” with Léna Gruas

Difficulties of weather forecasting in mountainous regions”  with Gilles Brunot

Indicator Lakes: scientists studying high-elevation alpine lakes”  with Jean-Baptiste Bosson

“How water markets can save water” with Mark Squillace

Facing the Future: Hope, Panic, and Action in a Warming World
with Lauren E. Oakes 

“Will our glaciers make a comeback in the foreseeable future, or should we be getting out our swimsuits instead ?” with Luc Moreau

“Discovering the world beneath our feet” – avec Idaline Laigle

“Studying phenology at CREA Mont-Blanc: spicy new results and the future of our research” with Marjorie Bison

“Adapt Mont-Blanc: How will climate change impact the Espace Mont-Blanc in the years to come?” with Brad Carlson

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