One mission of the Forest Service National Avalanche Center is to provide technology transfer to the United States avalanche community. As such, we work with a variety of scientists from universities and research institutions to test and develop emerging avalanche technologies that may be useful for avalanche workers. Use the links below to find more information about our current projects. These projects include:
- SnowMicroPen - A sensitive penetrometer for collecting detailed snow profile information. We have been using and testing a SnowMicroPen since the 2000/2001 season for avalanche forecasting and research applications. (Cooperators include the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Montana State University, Montana State University TechLink, and CF Electronics).
- Spatial Variability. We are working on problems associated with the spatial variability of the snowpack at several scales. This section includes reports of our work on spatial variability at the mountain range scale and slope scales, on uniform slopes, and through time. (Cooperators include Montana State University and the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research).
- Using Shear Quality to Improve Stability Test Interpretation. We are investigating whether noting shear quality can help in the interpretation of stability test results. Initial results have been encouraging. (Cooperators include the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center and several individuals).
- Faceting Around Ice Crusts. We are helping with a project that is focused on analyzing the extent of enhanced faceting adjacent to ice crusts. (Cooperators include Colorado State University, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, and Montana State University).
- Weather Instrumentation Manual - This manual is being prepared by Mark Moore, Director of the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center. This section provides a link to Mark's ongoing manual, which contains a wealth of information on mountain weather instrumentation.