Aiden Goldie lives in Carbondale, Colorado, USA and works as a high school science teacher. He’s passionate about creating equitable spaces in education and outdoor recreation—and climbing mountains!
Aiden believes it’s important to understand reflect on the privileges we have afforded to us when touring in the backcountry. Every day he tries to remind himself about how gosh darn cool snow is. It is not this uniform blanket of white, but has so much nuance and is so critical for life in harsh winter environments.
Aiden’s snow experience has been earned in the context of backcountry skiing and ski-mountaineering. With his background in ecology, backcountry skiing has always been a way to develop a critical scientific mindset while recreating in the outdoors. Aiden recently acquired an AIARE Pro 1 certification that has helped him refine these skills in a professional setting. Professionally, he’s have been lucky enough to guide groups of students through snowy environments. These educational experiences in the outdoors are centered around snow science and greater ecological themes as well as providing students with meaningful experiences in the outdoors.
While performing research for his Master’s degree in Natural Science Education, Aiden focused his thesis on how students construct and identity as scientists in outdoor classrooms. He used the CSO project as a treatment to help students develop intimate connections to science and natural spaces.
What does citizen science mean? Why join CSO?
Citizen science, or community science, is a collaborative data collection method to answer greater scientific questions. Community science done correctly involves community members performing science with professional scientists rather than for scientists. To Aiden, community science highlights the idea that some research can only be done with the help of a community of people.
There are many reasons to be engaged in community science projects like CSO. It’s a way to give back to the greater scientific community with a small, personal action. CSO needs data from remote sites that backcountry skiers are well equipped to access. While touring into the backcountry, we are already equipped with the proper snow science tools to submit data. By then submitting data, we are also building a stronger foundation of information that can help us better understand our changing planet.