News FocusProfile: Chewang Norphel

Glacier Man

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Science  30 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5953, pp. 659-661
DOI: 10.1126/science.326_659

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By diverting water that flows down mountainsides in winter into regularly placed stone embankments, Chewang Norphel has built 10 artificial glaciers in the barren, high-altitude desert of the trans-Himalayas, which sustain crops that feed some 10,000 people. It's become his obsession. Part engineer, hydrologist, and glaciologist, Norphel has had to create his own field of expertise. Thanks to his talent, Norphel is now known as "Glacier Man" among the locals in these mountains.