Summit County, UT
My name is McKenzie Skiles and I live in Summit County, UT, USA.
For a living, am a snow hydrologist, and Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Utah. I am passionate about mountains, snow, water, and all activities that let me enjoy these; including skiing and mountain biking. I am originally from Alaska, I am passionate about what understanding the relationship between climate change and changing alpine environments, because there are few places where it is more apparent then there. It’s not only important to me to understand snow water resources, but also how those are changing over time in response to warmer and variable climate.
I think it is important to…
be aware of where the resources come from that allow us live comfortably every, in Utah one of those big ones is water from snow!
Every day I try to remind myself…
why I got into snow science and snow hydrology in the first place; because I have and always will love snow!
Why did you join the Community Snow Observations program?
As a backcountry skier for fun and snow hydrologist for work, I am out in the snow collecting observations all the time, and those should be available to the broader community. I also use the data in my own research!
What does the term Citizen Science mean to you?
The opportunity for everyone to contribute to, be involved in, and have a stake in science.
What is your experience/background in snow science?
I grew up in the snow in Anchorage, Alaska and have been skiing for most of my life. I turned that passion into a career, and have been studying and researching snow hydrology for the last ten years. As a professor, my snow hydrology research continues, but I also now teach courses related to snow and ice, including a field based snow and avalanche dynamics course.
Why should more people join Community Snow Observations this winter?
If you are already enjoying the snow, why not also contribute to science why you are out there?!