Jordy Hendrikx is an associate professor and the Director of the Snow & Avalanche Laboratory in the Department of Earth Sciences at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. He also works as a snow and avalanche consultant for Dynamic Avalanche Consulting in Canada. Jordy has spent the last 20 years working on snow and avalanche projects in the mountains around the world, from Antarctica to the Arctic. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles related to snow, avalanches, decision making, risk and climate change in a range of international journals. His most recent work focuses on ways to think about risk, considering terrain, human-dimensions, and decision making, to help reduce avalanche fatalities.
Observed terrain use as a lens for understanding decision making
We often teach backcountry skiers and riders the concept that when the snowpack is your problem, terrain is your solution. Even under the most challenging circumstances, careful terrain selection can reduce avalanche risk. By tracking and analyzing the terrain data of multiple different user groups under varying circumstances, using different methods, we hope to provide an improved understanding of real-world decision making in avalanche terrain. This presentation will discuss various methods we have used to extract, describe and distill terrain use and risk information from backcountry skiers and riders, and illustrate how these methods provide insights on decision making in avalanche terrain. A number of examples using different methods and different cohorts will be presented, and future directions will be discussed.