Jeff La Frenierre

Jeff LaFrenierre

Gustavus Adolphus College geography professor Jeff La Frenierre’s revolutionary glacier research is featured in a new BBC program called Earth From Space. The science and nature show uses “cameras in space [to] tell the story of life on Earth from a brand new perspective,” and includes the Gustavus professor’s work tracking and documenting glacial melt — and the downstream effects on water availability — on Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo.

“We ask: Right now, how are people being affected by glacial melt?” La Frenierre explained. “It’s meaningful work at the cutting edge of climate change research.”

Earth From Space will premiere on April 17 at 9 p.m. on BBC 1 in the United Kingdom. The episode featuring La Frenierre and his research team will air on BBC 1 on May 8 and run in the United States as part of PBS’ Life From Above later in 2019.

Watch the trailer.

“It’s been exciting to have the opportunity to work with the BBC in the field,” said La Frenierre, who regularly includes Gustavus students in his research. Recent graduates Casey Decker ’18 and Abby Michels ’18 make appearances in a recent BBC web exclusive alongside La Frenierre.

“What makes this research unique is that it’s pretty unusual to have this kind of field experience at the undergraduate level,” the professor said, noting that the Gustavus students work alongside master’s and PhD-level researchers in challenging conditions far-removed from the comforts of home and the labs in the Nobel Hall of Science. “It can change your life.”