James Thornton

Scientific Project Officer

James joined the Mountain Research Initiative in 2020 upon completion of his PhD in hydrogeology at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. His doctoral research focussed on the interdisciplinary, physics-based numerical modelling of hydrological processes in complex Alpine terrain, and involved a wide range of datasets and computational tools.

Prior to that, James worked in the reinsurance sector, where he was responsible for leading the development of natural catastrophe models in order to quantify the risks associated with extreme events such as floods and tropical cyclones.

He is currently responsible for the coordination and implementation of GEO Mountains; a GEO Initiative seeking to increase the availability and accessibility of a wide range of data pertaining to mountainous regions to benefit human societies and ecosystems globally.  

geo mountains

GEO Mountains

GEO Mountains seeks to identify, collate and make accessible transboundary and inter- and transdisciplinary data and information – from a variety of providers – pertaining to environmental, ecological, and societal change in mountainous regions globally.

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Mount Washington Observatory

Toward a definition of Essential Mountain Climate Variables

This article introduces Essential Mountain Climate Variables (EMCVs) which could be used to increase the utility of mountainous environmental data to both fundamental science and decision making.

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Mountain range in Kazakhstan

Mountain Observatories: Status and Prospects for Enhancing and Connecting a Global Community

This paper reviews the trends and challenges of socioenvironmental monitoring in the mountains and proposes principles and ways of supporting, developing and connecting mountain observatories

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