What we're doing
This project aims to improve our understanding of snow depth variability in mountainous regions. We need community-based observers, including backcountry professionals and recreationists, to help gather snow observations.
Uses of snow data
"On the ground" measurements aid interpretations of satellite and airborne snow measurements collected by NASA and other agencies.
Snow data help improve water runoff models. Predicting and understanding variability in water runoff is important due to effects on snow avalanche hazards, water resources, ecology, tourism, and the impacts of a changing climate.
Citizen scientists will learn more about snow depth distribution. This can help them them make better decisions while navigating in avalanche terrain.
Partners and funding
Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center • International Arctic Research Center • Mountain Hub • Oregon State University • Snow Pilot • State of Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys • University of Alaska Fairbanks • University of Washington
We are a group of scientists at United States federal, state and university agencies who are fascinated by snow in all its various forms. We participate in citizen-science just like you, except our day jobs are also science!
Anthony holds a joint appointment as a Senior Research Scientist with APL’s Polar Science Center, and a Research Fellow with the University of Washington’s eScience Institute.
Christina Aragon is a PhD student and graduate fellow at Oregon State University, where her research focuses on alpine snow and snow-derived water resources.
David has a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley and works on a wide variety of problems related to hydrology and hydraulics at the marine-terrestrial interface.
Emilio is an environmental data scientist working on the development and implementation of systems for the management and dissemination of environmental data.
Gabriel Wolken leads investigations of snow, ice, and permafrost that aim to understand how these elements of the cryosphere are change and influence natural hazards.
Katreen is involved with multiple projects that focus on alpine slope instability hazards in Alaska using various remote sensing techniques.
Ryan is a snow hydrologist who uses modeling and remote sensing to understand snowpacks in alpine environments within the context of climate change.
Citizen scientist ambassadors
Our ambassadors are important contributors to our snow data collection and active and inspiring members in the mountain community.
Aaron Hartz lives in Bend, Oregon, where he works as a ski guide, climbing guide, snowpack observer, and avalanche forecaster. He also has a business to do freelance scientific field work.
Abby specializes in working in remote snowy locations as a photographer and writer. She is passionate about education, mentorship, the outdoors, and making every day “the best day ever.”
Aiden Goldie teaches high school science in Carbondale, Colorado, USA. He’s passionate about creating equitable spaces in education and outdoor recreation—and climbing mountains!
Benjamin Hatchett lives in Reno, Nevada, working as an Assistant Research Professor at the Desert Research Institute and Western Regional Climate Center.
Bobby Lieberman lives in Anchorage, Alaska, working construction, teaching avalanche safety, and studying nursing at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Brooke is a multi-faceted snow enthusiast who works and recreates in the Sierra Mountains of California. With a past as a hydrology technician for the Yosemite National Park Service, she now ski patrols and teaches avalanche safety during the winters.
Claudio Artoni lives in Milan, Italy. He’s a PhD student in Polar Science at the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, a professional snowpack observer, avalanche educator, and climbing instructor.
James Molloy lives in Jackson, Wyoming, playing hard in the mountains and procrastinating on his graduate studies in geosciences and water resources.
Joe lives in North Conway, New Hampshire. He is a professional photographer, and is passionate about being in the mountains and wild places. Joe spent a handful of years as a backcountry snow ranger and avalanche forecaster in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Liz Burakowski lives in New Hampshire, working as a Research Assistant Professor in the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at the University of New Hampshire.
Liza Kimberly lives in Bellingham, Washington. She’s currently a graduate student at Western Washington University, researching glacier mass balance on Mount Baker.
McKenzie Skiles works as a snow hydrologist and Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Utah.
Natalie Afonina splits her time between developing autonomous systems for robotics applications and as a sponsored athlete.
Pat Scanlan lives in New England and directs a backcountry ski program at Carrabassett Valley Academy. He’s also a mountain guide and an avalanche professional.
Philip Henderson lives in Cortez, Colorado, working as a repair and outreach specialist at Osprey Packs.
Sarah Carter lives in Valdez, Alaska, teaching in Valdez City Schools, instructing for Alaska Avalanche Information Center, and forecasting for the Valdez Avalanche Center.
Sarah lives in Littleton, New Hampshire. She runs a small parent coaching and nature education business called Growing Home. She homeschools are her two little kids — and they are part of her snow observation team!
Sean Smollen is a life-long Colorado backcountry skier and snowmobiler, who enjoys submitting field observations and to take long walks in the mountains. He lives in Leadville and works full-time for the Colorado Outward Bound School. He graduated from the Avalanche Science program at Colorado Mountain College and is enrolled to take his AAA Pro…
Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Seth serves as the Colorado River Programs Manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority. While addressing the effects of climate change on the water resources of the public water system, Seth is also passionate about collecting snow data in the field — and train others to join him in this effort.