Science Diary: Exploring Tibet – Bad Roads

Music

Ambience: Car going over rough terrain.

Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Mark Aldenderfer is an Anthropologist at the University of Arizona. He’s traveled to Tibet to conduct archeological surveys, heading from Lhasa, the traditional capitol of Tibet on the road to Lhatse.

“There are a variety of challenges that we’re trying to overcome on this trip. Most of them tend to be with the physical environment. That is, we are at high elevation. Lhasa’s at over thirty-six hundred meters, which is something over eleven thousand two or three hundred feet. So, we deal with the problems of oxygen deprivation. The other thing that we have to overcome too is the challenges of simply the roads. Our final destination is about twelve hundred kilometers away from Lhasa. It’s going to take us five days to get there. The roads get extremely bad very quickly and so the vehicles go very slowly, there’re relatively few places to stop out in the field, and so you just take it easy on this trip out west. It’s too rough to try to rush your way to Lhatse.”

Ambience: Lhatse street

“What you just heard were the sounds of early morning Lhatse, around 8 o’clock in the morning. We arrived in Lhatse in about six-and-a-half hours, which was a relatively good trip. It was quite beautiful, lots of villages scattered up and down the valley bottoms. A number of archaeological sites, some of them are relatively old for this region dating back to the sixth and seventh centuries AD, but for the most part the road was pretty good and we made good time.”

It’ll take at least four more days over difficult roads to make it to the region where Mark Aldenderfer will be conducting his research. Once there, he faces high altitudes, high winds, and high temperatures. We’ll hear in future programs. Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.
Music

Science Diary: Exploring Tibet - Bad Roads

Before Science Diarist Mark Aldenderfer can start his research in Western Tibet, he has to get there!
Air Date:06/01/2011
Scientist:
Transcript:

Music

Ambience: Car going over rough terrain.

Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Mark Aldenderfer is an Anthropologist at the University of Arizona. He's traveled to Tibet to conduct archeological surveys, heading from Lhasa, the traditional capitol of Tibet on the road to Lhatse.

"There are a variety of challenges that we're trying to overcome on this trip. Most of them tend to be with the physical environment. That is, we are at high elevation. Lhasa's at over thirty-six hundred meters, which is something over eleven thousand two or three hundred feet. So, we deal with the problems of oxygen deprivation. The other thing that we have to overcome too is the challenges of simply the roads. Our final destination is about twelve hundred kilometers away from Lhasa. It's going to take us five days to get there. The roads get extremely bad very quickly and so the vehicles go very slowly, there're relatively few places to stop out in the field, and so you just take it easy on this trip out west. It's too rough to try to rush your way to Lhatse."

Ambience: Lhatse street

"What you just heard were the sounds of early morning Lhatse, around 8 o'clock in the morning. We arrived in Lhatse in about six-and-a-half hours, which was a relatively good trip. It was quite beautiful, lots of villages scattered up and down the valley bottoms. A number of archaeological sites, some of them are relatively old for this region dating back to the sixth and seventh centuries AD, but for the most part the road was pretty good and we made good time."

It'll take at least four more days over difficult roads to make it to the region where Mark Aldenderfer will be conducting his research. Once there, he faces high altitudes, high winds, and high temperatures. We'll hear in future programs. Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.
Music