Andy Bach


Andy Bach, PhD is an associate professor of environmental geography in Huxley College of the Environment, at Western Washington University, where he teaches physical geography, soils, climatology and water resources. His major research areas include geomorphology and soils, natural resources management, and climate change in the western United States. Dr. Bach, his graduate students and colleagues have been focusing research efforts on mountains of Washington and California.  He has examined glaciers as a water resource in the North Cascades, demonstrating that about 30%-70% of the summer flow of our rivers is derived from glacier meltwater.  The glaciers are documented to be retreating in recent decades and if they disappear entirely, our limited summer water supply will be reduced substantially. Having grown up in the agricultural area of the Central Valley of California, he has been attuned with the political and economic conflicts over a limited water supply his entire life.  As the glaciers retreat, they expose new land, where he has been looking at rates and modes of soil development and vegetation colonization.