Westwide Snow Survey Training School
Classroom subjects include history of snow surveys; Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS) mission and snow surveys; snow sampling; note
keeping; over-snow travel; safety; emergency shelter construction;
principles of survival; avalanche hazard recognition, assessment, and
avoidance; first aid; SNOTEL (SNOwpack TELemetry) theory and operation;
and data accessing and uses. Outdoor laboratory exercises include snow
machine operation and maintenance; helicopter safety; snow survey
techniques; and an overnight bivouac in the snow using individual shelters
constructed by trainees.
Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:
- use correct procedures to obtain snow survey data and complete field
- conduct all survey activities safely and effectively, choose proper
travel mode to data sites, recognize natural hazards and exercise
- construct emergency winter survival shelters and successfully
bivouac in a snow-covered environment.
- describe the basic emergency first aid procedures needed for
injuries and illnesses commonly encountered on snow surveys.
Upon completion, participants should be able to perform at ASK Level 4,
Personal health and physical conditioning necessary to travel on snow
using snowshoes or skis and carrying a full field pack, an annual physical
examination (NRCS personnel), current Red Cross Multimedia Standard First
Aid Course (or its equivalent), and a CPR training course.
NRCS personnel engaged in snow surveying or who travel and work in
remote mountainous terrain in winter may attend. Cooperating agencies and
organizations' personnel who conduct snow surveys or have winter mountain
environment activities may also attend.
Deb Harms, Water and Climate Monitoring Team
Natural Resources Conservation Service
National Water and Climate Center
1201 NE Lloyd Blvd, Suite 802
Portland, OR 97232