McKenzie Skiles works as a snow hydrologist and Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Utah. She’s passionate about mountains, snow, water, and all activities that let her enjoy these—including skiing and mountain biking.
McKenzie is originally from Alaska, and is also passionate about understanding the relationship between climate change and changing alpine environments, because there are few places where it is more apparent. It’s not only important to her to understand snow water resources, but also how those are changing over time in response to warmer and variable climate.
McKenzie grew up in the snow in Anchorage and has been skiing for most of her life. She turned that passion into a career, and has been studying and researching snow hydrology for the last ten years. As a professor, her snow hydrology research continues, but she also now teaches courses related to snow and ice, including a field based snow and avalanche dynamics course.
What is citizen science? Why join CSO?
Citizen science is the opportunity for everyone to contribute to, be involved in, and have a stake in science. As a backcountry skier for fun and snow hydrologist for work, McKenzie is out in the snow collecting observations all the time, and those should be available to the broader community. She also uses the data in her own research. If you are already enjoying the snow, join CSO and contribute to science while you are out there!