Author Information

Aimee Higgins


A process-based understanding of the effect land cover has on evapotranspiration (ET) in alpine valleys is lacking. It is conventionally assumed that ET is a negligible part of the water cycle in the Peruvian Andes, a critical source of water for the local inhabitants, due to lack of precipitation during the 6-month dry season and high humidity during the 6-month wet season. However, recent research findings from an embedded sensor network indicate that ET is in fact an important part of the Andean water cycle in Peru. Water resources within Peru are affected by the glaciers within the Cordillera Blanca, where the Llanganuco Valley is located, which will severely impact people away from the valley. This project incorporated GIS, remote sensing, meteorological data and ET modeling to further show that ET is affected by the valley’s terrain and land cover and it varies according to seasonal and daily time scales.

Note on the Author

Aimee Higgins is a senior Geography and Earth Science double major. This research project was funded by the Adrian Tinsley Program and she worked under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Hellström. She has presented this research at the ATP Undergraduate Research Symposium, the New England-St. Lawrence Valley (NESTVAL) Geographical Society meeting and the New England Undergraduate Environmental Research Symposium.

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