Nikwax Increases Award for the 2010 Alpine Bellwether Grant

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SEATTLE, Wash. (May 12, 2010) – In spring 2009, Nikwax underwrote the first Nikwax Alpine Bellwether Grant (NABG), in association with the American Alpine Club (AAC). The 2009 grantees conducted valuable research in the study of climate change in alpine environments. For 2010, Nikwax has increased the grant money and divided it among three deserving scientists and explorers.

The NABG recipients for 2010 are:

• Kevin McManigal ($2000). Kevin will lead an expedition retracing a 1910 route of the Royal Geographic Society to the Turgun Mountains of Mongolia. He and his team will reconstruct a century of glacial change through a photographic comparison of 1910 to modern-day landscape.

• Ann Piersall ($1000). Ann is a second-time recipient of the NABG. With the 2010 award, she continues her work in field-based assessment of glaciation, and indigenous perspectives on climate change in the At-Bashy Range of the Tien Shan, in Kyrgyzstan. Keep up with Ann at: http://tienshanglaciers.blogspot.com/.

• Ashley Nord ($1000). Ashley will lead a team attempting the first ascent of Mt. Uzatagh (6280m) in the Kunlun Mountain Range in western China. In the spirit of true adventure, the team will trek through one of the few remaining unexplored regions on the planet and return with recommendations for responsibly ingratiating tourists and alpinists to the area.

“The NAGB exists to support study of climate change in the alpine environment,” said Chas Fisher, president of Nikwax N.A. and global brand director for Nikwax, LTD. “For Nikwax, a strong scientific understanding of our environmental impacts is critical, as is getting out to enjoy the world we're trying to protect. While I fully expected to see potential for scientific contribution from the NAGB, I did not anticipate how inspiring this year's grantees would be. The results they are poised to deliver have serious and positive implications for our greater understanding of climate change, as it impacts biological, social and recreational aspects. We thank the AAC for their continued support in promoting the NAGB.”

Phil Powers, executive director of the American Alpine Club, added, "Focused on our changing climate, the Nikwax Bellwether Grant leverages the strength of the climbing community. We are out there. We are on the glaciers and on the mountain peaks where much of the world's freshwater is housed in ice. Climbers are uniquely positioned to record changes in remote locations and the Nikwax Bellwether Grant gives our climbing scientists the resources they need to bring this data back.”

Check in with the AAC blog (http://inclined.americanalpineclub.org/) for regular updates from the grantees.

About the American Alpine Club:

The American Alpine Club is a community of climbers who have banded together to sustain the climbing way of life, protect the places we climb, and watch out for one another through a worldwide rescue service. AAC members have built the world's largest climbing library, by donating guidebooks and climbing literature to the club for other members to borrow. And for over 80 years, members have made the American Alpine Journal the world's most revered annual climbing publication. Membership is open to climbers of all types and abilities at AmericanAlpineClub.org

About Nikwax:

Nikwax was founded in 1977 and is the global leader in environmentally safe aftercare and waterproofing solutions that extend the life and performance of technical footwear, apparel and equipment. Nikwax uses formulations that deliver maximum effectiveness while minimizing environmental impacts and promoting sustainability. Nikwax products contain neither propellant gases nor volatile organic chemicals. They are all fluorochemical-free, derived from nature-based ingredients, are not tested on animals, and are biodegradable. Visit Nikwax at www.Nikwax.com and join us on Facebook.

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