Riley Gaines

Riley lives in Minturn, Colorado, and works at the non-profit organization Walking Mountains Science Center where he guides backcountry hikes and snowshoe trips along with creating opportunities for others to participate in community science projects. In his work he creates experiences based around community science and CSO is one of the projects he has used for this purpose in the wintertime. Riley is passionate about being in nature, climbing, splitboarding, and — YES!! — eating tacos. As a past job, he worked as a scuba diver in Wisconsin to remote invasive plants.

What is community science? Why join CSO?

To Riley, [community science] is about getting members of the community outside to be a part of the process of science. He explains “I think of it as decentralizing science and creating opportunities where anybody can make a contribution to meaningful work.”  Further, he thinks the CSO project offers an easy way to add to a relevant scientific body of knowledge while recreating in the backcountry. He also adds an important point “Plus you might learn something about the snowpack that helps you stay safer.”