Topic description: Meteorological and terrain variables influence the distribution of snow on a slope, making avalanche trigger points difficult to predict for many backcountry riders and avalanche professionals, especially in steep complex terrain. Recent advances in remote sensing techniques improve snow scientists’ ability to map snow depth spatial variability at higher resolutions and have the potential to inform decision making in the backcountry. This talk will discuss key findings from recent spatial variability snow science research and how to incorporate those findings into daily routines while out in the mountains.
Bio: Zachary has worked as a ski patroller, avalanche educator, forecaster and researcher since cutting his teeth in Big Cottonwood at Solitude Mountain a little over a decade ago. He earned an MS in Earth Sciences from Montana State University in 2021 and has worked for the USGS Climate Change in Mountain Ecosystems group in West Glacier, Montana conducting cryospheric research and forecasting for the Going to the Sun Road spring avalanche program for the past 6 years