Executive summary of the project:
Grey Research Station, National Park Torres del Paine
The Torres del Paine National Park is considered one of the most visited tourist attractions in the region of Magallanes and one of the largest biosphere reserves in the world, is located between the massive Andes and the Patagonian steppe, where his rugged geography shapes a landscape with abundant glaciers, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and lush vegetation. This place stores within their territories pristine beauty and abundant, which is characteristic of the region, which not only allows the development of educational activities in contact with nature, but also a source of unique and invaluable scientific information that attracts the attention of a considerable number of people around the world interested in studying from this great natural laboratory. The possibility of having infrastructure will greatly facilitate the development of scientific and / or different educational institutions that conduct research. There is great interest in the scientific community to develop activities in the Southern Ice Field (CHS), so the Grey glacier could be used as a reference glacier (Benchmark) basis that this is part of the larger natural water reservoir and its large size and behavior like other great glaciers of CHS, and serve as a laboratory representative of what happens in a larger context.
On the other hand there is currently a great need for innovative programs that would not only educate new concepts related to environmental eco standards, but also to know from different perspectives, specialized information areas within the park, specifically the area of Glacier Grey, especially when there is the potential for new research niche and this will need to be studied further adds little information of certain topics in the industry, mainly due to the difficulties of access or climatic factors and / or logistics. One way to meet this need for information is to establish research programs that enable scientists to develop their activities on an ongoing basis, it is doable to have adequate infrastructure to the sector income during any time of year.
Currently the National Forestry Corporation, Magellan aware CONAF research needs within the park, offers property infrastructure to address Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Programs of the University of Magallanes on the shores of Lake Grey and near the glacier same name. These facilities will enable the development of different activities aimed at the study of ecosystems and processes occurring in the sector.
The geographical coordinates of infrastructure (Research Station) is located approximately at 51 º 00 '15'' S, 73 º 10' 48'' W in the vicinity of the glacier and along the lake of the same name (see Figure 2) . Some of the paths may be carried by land or lake. By road it is feasible to perform through the enabled path belonging to the circuit CONAF the park, making the journey from the point indicated as park management after about 6 hours of walking to reach the research station. Alternatively via lacustrine whose access time is about one hour of sailing time under normal conditions. The two access are identified in Figure 2.
The main objective of this project is to demonstrate the scientific and educational potential that could be developed using as a basis the scientific station for activities in the short, medium and long term thus justifying the University of Magallanes can be held responsible for the proposal offered by Regional Director National Forestry Corporation, Magellan CONAF put at our disposal by the Directorate Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Program infrastructure property located in the area adjacent to the glacier-lake Grey.
- This new possibility of having infrastructure will enhance the area of the glacier as an area of scientific study and where educational programs will be developed in close contact with nature strengthened due to the comparative advantage over other areas of the park that does not have this type of facility.
- The development of both scientific and educational activities in the area will increase, due to the ease logistics and the ability to operate much of the year thus supporting the nomination of new funds to promote the development of scientific programs and / or educational.
- Developing new perspectives for the Torres del Paine National Park.
- Projections that provide facilities to the University of Magallanes in the scientific and educational aspect to be the only institution established within the park with this type of facilities.
- From the academic point of view the formation of scientists in different areas require field practices and the ability to easily access infrastructure to natural laboratories are around this area, where they can develop at home both scientific activities as educational.