2015 Speakers

 

John Snook
Biography
John Snook became interested in weather and snow while growing up in New England anxiously awaiting the next nor’easter. He obtained a BS and MS in meteorology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. John moved to Colorado in 1984 and worked as a meteorologist for 15 years at a NOAA applied research lab in Boulder. During that time, he completed a PhD in atmospheric science at Colorado State University. John then dabbled in private industry for several years before landing a forecasting position in 2006 at Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). After eight seasons, John moved away from the early morning forecast schedule, but continues to provide forecast application and web product development to CAIC. He also works as a part-time professional ski patroller at Arapahoe Basin ski area and performs meteorological consulting work during the summer off season.
Topic of Workshop

Add Value to your Forecast using Numerical Weather Prediction

The National Weather Service (NWS) provides a wide range of weather prediction products. The NWS, however, does not provide interpretive services. The successful avalanche forecaster must interpret weather information, use that information to add value to the avalanche forecast, and communicate the forecast to the end user. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) has developed a web-based platform to facilitate these requirements. A key component is an in-house numerical weather prediction model that provides detailed weather forecasts focused on Colorado. The presentation will discuss the flow of weather information into the Center and how it is utilized with the goal of providing a value-added avalanche forecast to our industry and public-sector users.

 

Jordy Hendrikx
Biography
Dr. Jordy Hendrikx is the Director of the Snow & Avalanche Laboratory at Montana State University, in Bozeman. He is also the chair of the Research Committee on the American Avalanche Association board and he works as a Snow and Avalanche Consultant. He has undertaken research on snow and avalanches from Antarctica to the Arctic and many other mountainous placed in between. Prior to working for Montana State University, he worked for five years as a Snow and Ice Scientist in New Zealand and he has also spent time working as a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Switzerland and on the Milford Road, NZ as an avalanche forecaster and scientist.
Topic of Workshop

Using ski and sled tracks to understand avalanche risk

Regardless of our mode of travel, how we move in the backcountry is the result of a number of complex factors including the snow stability, snow quality, experience, and motivations for the day. Our resulting track is therefore a geographic expression of the decisions made as a function of all of these influences. By using real-time GPS tracking and detailed terrain based analysis of recorded tracks we can analyze the ways our track alter our avalanche risk, and how different decisions and motivations influence our risk. Our data shows that tracks are often influenced by factors which include group size, gender, experience, and motivations rather than just snow stability and terrain. By also being aware of these other factors we can reduce our chances of inadvertently making riskier decisions in the backcountry.

 

Grant Hegelson
Biography
Grant Hegelson is a Senior Forecaster with Revelstoke based Avalanche Canada who makes good decisions 99% of the time. If he's not at work or playing in the hills, he's probably lusting after carbon skis, bikes or fly rods.
Topic of Workshop

Speaking Canadian

Public avalanche forecasting in SE British Columbia. Understanding Avalanche Canada’s products and why they’re relevant to backcountry users in NW Montana.

 

Jamie Musniecki
Biography
Executive Director, American Avalanche Association
Topic of Workshop

Coming Soon!

 

Grant Statham
Biography
Parks Canada Avalanche Risk Specialist
Topic of Workshop

Coming Soon!