Item: I.s.s.w., past, present, and future
Title: I.s.s.w., past, present, and future
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1994 International Snow Science Workshop, Snowbird, Utah, USA
Authors: John Montagne, 17 Hodgman Canyon, Bozeman, Montana 59715 and Peter Schaerer, Apt. 103-105 West Kings Road, North Vancouver, B.C. Canada V7N 2L7
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to provide a background for the current series of biennial snow science meetings in North America. Such a background may be useful in guiding the future course of such meetings to assure that they continue to serve the special requirements of pure and applied science together with the practical needs of those who carry through the front line duties of snow research and avalanche safety and control. The "workshop" format has proven to be an excellent catalyst to the important communication among all who attend these meetings because it pointedly reserves time for exchange of ideas during the course of the meetings. Interest in the general aspects of snow has been ushered in on the coattails of the avalanche movement. Because of this dominance of avalanche-related problems and activities, the current paper is admittedly biased toward avalanche phenomena, which is not to deny the importance of the considering the whole aspect of snow in general for these meetings. Avalanche hazard forecasters and safety planners are highly specialized and often work in the limited territory of a ski area or a road and have little contact with colleagues. They need to meet fellow professionals from time to time for an exchange of experiences and for learning about new developments. Personal contacts are even more important because avalanche hazard forecasting and control relies much on experience, and only a limited amount of the knowledge can be picked up from books. The "loneliness" and need for meetings probably was stronger in earlier years when avalanche control was carried out only in a few widely separated locations in North America and communication was more difficult.
Keywords: issw, avalanche hazard, avalanche control, communication
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