pat scanlan

Pat Scanlan lives in New Hampshire and Maine, directing a backcountry ski program at Carrabassett Valley Academy, a U.S. Ski and Snowboard High Performance Center. He’s also a climbing and backcountry ski guide, and an avalanche professional.

Pat is passionate about creating meaningful and impactful mountain experiences for people from all walks of life, and about contributing to the understanding of climate, snow, and avalanches. He’s working towards becoming an IFMGA Mountain Guide and serves on the Board of Directors for the non-profit behind the Mount Washington Avalanche Center. He has also created a student-led standardized snow study plot and snow education program for high school ski athletes

His background includes ecology and conservation science. He’s completed all levels of formal professional avalanche training, including Professional Level 1 and Professional Level 2. He has managed and collected data at the manual snow plot for the Mount Washington Avalanche Center for two seasons, while also making daily field observations in the forecast area.

What is citizen science? Why join CSO?

Pat thinks that crowd-sourced data is a promising frontier for snow, climate, and avalanche science and research. Not only is there huge potential to increase data coming from backcountry travelers, but Pat feels this project will have a positive effect on anyone who contributes—there is a sense of purpose and importance that comes from contributing data to a project like this. It can also be a great catalyst to help people learn more about climate change and snow science.

Pat is very excited to contribute to the CSO project. To him, it means allowing passionate and interested people to contribute to scientific research, greatly increasing sample sizes, accuracy, and scope of various studies at a very low cost. As a ski guide and avalanche professional, he works with snow on a daily basis and tries to maintain a deep understanding of, and relationship with, the snow he travels on. This relationship helps keep him safe while also helping to find the best quality snow to ski on.

Making observations for CSO is an amazing way to give something back to the winter sports community and to become a citizen scientist! With very little effort, backcountry travelers can have a huge impact on the amount of snow data that scientists and researchers have access to. This can greatly increase the accuracy and scope of current studies about snow and climate.