SPEAKERS SUPPORTERS
RAFFLE ITEMS SCHEDULE

The 2019 Speakers Schedule 

Lloyd Morsett

Biography

Lloyd broke trail into the world of all things avalanche while taking "a season off" from college.  Two decades of throwing bombs, training avalanche search and rescue dogs and skiing powder led him to find his happy place in NW Montana.  Lloyd is the Snow Safety Coordinator for Whitefish Mountain Resort and teaches Level I and Level II avalanche courses for The Patrol Fund.  While all things snow safety are close to his heart, Lloyd is especially ardent about avalanche search and rescue work.  He spearheads the resorts avalanche dog program and helps coordinate training of area avalanche SAR dogs as well.

Topic of Presentation

Riding and Dying in NW Montana-An In Depth Look At Avalanche Fatality Statistics In Our Backyard

Northwest Montana is an amazing place of beauty, expansive terrain and a lifetime of backcountry adventures.  Because of its distinctive mountains, and the driven community that accesses them, avalanche statistics show some differences in who we are and the challenges we face as recreational users, avalanche educators, and search and rescue professionals.

Matt W.

Biography

Matt W. is a retired United States Army Officer with nearly 22 years of service. His assignments include serving as an MH-6 “Little Bird” helicopter pilot with the elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Other military assignments include serving as the Government Oversight Officer and Instructor at the U.S. Army SERE program. SERE stands for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape. After retiring from the military he continued his service to the government of the United States by serving as a Senior Instructor for the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA). Since starting his own company early in 2013 he has trained a wide spectrum of corporate employees, college and university staffs and non-governmental organizations in Active Shooter Response and International Safe Travel. Matt has a BA degree in Intelligence Studies and is considered an expert in this field.

Topic of Presentation

Thinking under extreme stress

A short talk on using critical thinking processes during high stress situations. Matt draws on years of training and experience dealing with extreme stress events to help enlighten those in high demand occupations. 

Kelly Elder

 

Biography

Kelly grew up on Snow King and Teton Pass in the rope tow days. His interest in snow became a major driver in his life when Rod Newcomb showed him it could also be a career. He currently works in many areas of snow research including hydrology, climatology and avalanchology. His study areas include snowy regions around the world, but recent projects keep him busy in the central Rockies, Alaska, and Baffin Island.
A hand lens, shovel, and skis are still his favorite tools. Kelly works for the US Forest Service at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Colorado, and is an instructor in the Avalanche Science Program at Colorado Mountain College, Leadville.

Topic of Presentation

Observations - Space and time, relevance, location

It's all about scale and change. Thoughts and examples will be discussed with a preliminary look at Colorado's exceptional 2019 avalanche season.

Aleph Johnston-Bloom

 

Biography

Aleph Johnston-Bloom is an Avalanche Specialist for the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center in Girdwood, Alaska. Over the past 20 years she has garnered experience as a highway avalanche forecaster, a backcountry avalanche forecaster, a patroller and a ski guide. Throughout her career she has been an avalanche educator sharing her passion for snow. She is the former director of both the Silverton Avalanche School and the Alaska Avalanche School. Starting her 7th winter in Alaska, she is looking forward to riding snowmachines and really hopes there is snow to sea level.

Topic of Presentation

WISE ONES – CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PROMINENT MENTORS OF THE U.S. AVALANCHE INDUSTRY

Mentorship is often referenced as a crucial part of knowledge exchange and professional development in the avalanche industry. In 2016 the members of the American Avalanche Association were surveyed confirming the high value placed on mentorship within avalanche professionals in the US. Top mentors were referred to very frequently. These individuals have impacted a relatively large number of other professionals with their willingness and ability to share their professional expertise. This 2018 set of 11 interviews explored the how and the why of mentorship values being passed on between the generations of snow professionals in the US.

Blase Reardon

Biography

Back when avalanche forecasts were telephone recordings, Blase fell in with the wrong
crowd. He started digging holes in the snow, scribbling on wet paper, and trying to
picture how and when snowflakes could shatter into deadly torrents. That lead to jobs
as an avalanche forecaster on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, in central Idaho, and in
Colorado’s Elk Mountains. He’s also served as editor of The Avalanche Review and
Publications Chair for The American Avalanche Association, editor or co-author for two
volumes of The Snowy Torrents, and a faculty member in Colorado Mountain College’s
Avalanche Science Program. He’s thrilled to be back in Montana working at the Flathead
Avalanche Center.

Topic of Presentation

It Would be Worser Than That: Lessons Learned from Avalanche Near-Misses and
Accidents

Case studies can provide an invaluable complement to the wicked learning environment
that is the winter backcountry. Blase will highlight insights gleaned by examining near-
misses and accidents drawn from his personal experience and a forthcoming volume of
The Snowy Torrents. The incidents involve snowmobilers, snowboarders, and skiers, and
illustrate how some incidents turn deadly while others remain good stories.

Henry Finn

Biography

Henry is currently a masters student in the Avalanche Research Program at Simon Fraser University.
With a BSc in Biology and a post-graduate degree in science education, Henry has developed a broad
range of research interests that span from the role of social factors in shaping human behavior to the
influence of different communication strategies in determining perceptions of risk. For his masters
project, Henry and the SARP team have set themselves the task of evaluating how avalanche bulletins
are being used across the entirety of the North American backcountry population.

Topic of Presentation

How do recreationists understand avalanche bulletin information? Opportunities for making it better.
by Henry Finn, Anne St Clair, Pascal Haegeli, Robin Gregory & Karl Klassen.

Having a clear understanding of how recreationists consume and incorporate avalanche safety
information into the planning of their backcountry explorations is a critical component for designing
effective avalanche risk communication messages. Yet there has been little research to date that has
specifically sought to examine the information processing behaviors of those heading into the
mountains in the winter. To systematically explore this area, we conducted 48 semi-structured, hour-
long personal interviews with a variety of backcountry users and ran a detailed interactive online survey,
which was completed by more than 3000 backcountry users from the United States and Canada. In this
presentation, we will present the key patterns that emerged from these two rich datasets and provide
deep insight into how recreationists use, understand and apply the information provided in avalanche
bulletins. While some patterns are in line with expectations, there are also some interesting findings to
reveal that may come as a surprise. Our result highlight interesting opportunities for making avalanche
bulletins more accessible and easier to use for everybody.