Snow Measurement Field School 2024

January 8 - 11, 2024

Application Deadline 10.18.2023

Location: AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Apply Here


Dr. Kate Hale
University of Vermont
Dr. Carrie Vuyovich
Dr. Eli Deeb
Dr. Jack Tarricone
Otto Lang
University of Utah
Dr. Anna Kontu
Finnish Meteorological Institute
Dr. Jennifer Jacobs
Guest Instructor, University of New Hampshire
Adam Hunsaker
Guest Instructor, University of New Hampshire
Arielle Koshkin
Colorado School of Mines

The SINTER and CUAHSI Snow Measurement Field School will take place in Bretton Woods New Hampshire with support from NASA.

Participants from any institution, including non-US-based institutions and under-resourced US-based institutions, are encouraged to apply for this workshop. We particularly welcome applications from students who are members of groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. Applications will be reviewed by workshop organizers and instructors, and participants will be notified of their application status in November.


Accurate snowpack property measurements are needed as ground truth for remotely sensed data, as input for hydrological models, as input to ecological models, and as data when making avalanche forecasts. This course provides hands-on training and experience with snow measurements, to help directly with snow measurement research objectives and for interpreting snow measurements collected by others.

The curriculum assumes little prior knowledge and experience on the part of the students, and begins with field and snow safety, then progresses to simple but critical snow measurements like depth, density, and snow water equivalent. Students are divided into teams and tasked with making field measurements that simulate what would be required in actual field campaigns. Daylight hours are spent almost entirely out in the snow, but in the evenings students work collectively to analyze and reflect on the day's measurements and listen to lectures about field measurements, sampling design, handling of data, and more advanced measurement topics.

Course Objectives:

This course will give fundamental training to students in making and analyzing snow measurements including depth, density, water equivalence, grain size and shape, stratigraphy, temperature and hardness. Students completing this course will be able to perform high-quality fieldwork and design studies making snowpack measurements.

By the end of the course, students should be able to do the following:

  • Excavate and prepare a snow pit.
  • Measure profiles of density, snow temperature, grain size, and hardness.
  • Characterize stratigraphy and layering, snow surface roughness, and snow grain types.
  • Use a Federal snow sampler, an avalanche probe, a Magnaprobe, and other snow measurement equipment.
  • Design their own experiment for sampling snow based on specific scientific objectives.

Workshop Eligibility and Requirements:

The course is aimed at graduate students, post-docs, professionals and senior scientists, modelers and remote sensors that will make snow measurements as part of their research, or use snowpack data in their research. Priority will be given to graduate students and early career researchers but undergraduates may participate pending availability.

There are no required prerequisites, but students should be physically able to spend days outside being active in the snow.

Workshop Location and Cost:

Housing is provided on-site. Participants will share rooms. Meals, lodging, and local transportation are included in the registration cost.

Grants are available for students to help defray – and, in some circumstances, eliminate – the cost of travel and registration to the workshop. Required outdoor apparel may be available at no or reduced costs. Details will be provided to accepted Snow Measurement Field School applicants prior to registration.

COVID Considerations:

CUAHSI is closely monitoring guidance from the CDC and other health authorities to ensure a safe experience for all participants. CUAHSI expects that only fully vaccinated people will attend the Snow Measurement Field School.

If conditions and advice dictate, CUAHSI reserves the right to cancel or reschedule this workshop.