Alexandra Michell

Alex lives in Mammoth Lakes, California, and is a staff member at the Airborne Snow Observatory. In this job, she maps snow using aircraft-mounted lidar and makes informed water runoff predictions using those lidar data alongside ground-collected data. Alex has undergraduate degrees in ecology and geology from UCLA and a master’s degree in snow science from CU Boulder. She’s been studying snow since 2017 and has been recreating in the snow since she was three years old, learning to ski at Bogus Basin. Alex is passionate about water security in the western United States, environmental justice and helping others recreate safely. She thinks it is important to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples as the primary stewards of our country’s land and water, and include them in decision-making processes and water-related solutions.

What is community science? Why join CSO?

Alex is hoping to share and receive snow depth (and potentially density) measurements across the American West while learning from and teaching others about snow hydrology and safe backcountry travel. She says she thinks “citizen science (interchangeably used for [community science]) is crucial for increasing scientific literacy in our communities and, ultimately, for combating climate change.”