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Avalanche Processes and Leadership Course Offerings

The course provides an excellent balance of academic knowledge and practical field experience.

Juneau, Alaska

Date of Press Release: April 8, 2019

The University of Alaska Southeast Outdoor Studies Program offered an Avalanche Level II Processes and Leadership course in March. Designed for experienced recreationalists or entry-level professionals, the class dug and skied on various aspects and elevations on Douglas Island and on the mainland in the Grandchild's Bowl. The course provides an excellent balance of academic knowledge and practical field experience, with curriculum including fracture mechanics and snow metamorphism, multi-burial rescue, mountain weather, and advanced snow pit analysis and documentation. The course is taught by Forest Wagner, Assistant Professor of Outdoor Studies.

Student Mark Neeland, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard, notes that the course improved his knowledge, capabilities, and confidence to safely navigate and recreate in back country avalanche terrain. The human factors and heuristics discussed in the course are applicable in numerous settings beyond avalanche safety and students are able to apply the concepts in recreational boating decisions.

“I always enjoy Outdoor Studies classes at UAS. I get to expand my personal knowledge and skills while enjoying the many outdoor opportunities unique to Alaska. The facility are great to work with and the students come from diverse backgrounds and offer their unique perspectives,” said Neeland in a recent interview.

The ODS avalanche education program was recognized this year by the American Avalanche Association for its coherency with national best-practice standards. For more information about ODS courses in the summer or fall of 2019, visit our schedule page.

Press Release Contact

Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
(907) 796-6509