B.S. Organismal Biology, Montana State University, 2013
MS in Earth Sciences - Snow Science
Karl Birkeland & Jordy Hendrikx
Title of Research Project:
Microclimate Study of Small-Scale Snowfall Patterns Across Hyalite Canyon
Summary of Research Project
The purpose of this research project is to identify and study snowfall patterns in the Northern Gallatin Mountain Range of southwest Montana. Specifically, this research is focused on the portion of the range that drains northward into Hyalite Creek, the water source for the city of Bozeman. Knowledge of the variation in snowpack conditions within a mountain range is essential for accurately predicting snow avalanches, and this variation is primarily a function of snow depth and amount of recent snowfall. In order to explore these previously unstudied snowfall patterns, this research addresses the following questions:
- Is there a measurable variation in the amount of wintertime precipitation across the Northern Gallatin Range?
- If measurable differences in snowfall amounts exist, is it possible to identify patterns within these variations and to link them to forecasted and observed weather patterns and the geography of the range?
- Once these patterns are identified, is it possible to predict how certain weather patterns will affect snowfall across the range, and to use these predictions to aid in the forecasting of avalanches?
Intern Forecaster, Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center
Course Instructor, Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center
Montana Alpine Guides, Avalanche Level 1 Instructor and Guide
Bridger Bowl Volunteer Ski Patrol
Avalanche Level 1
American Avalanche Association, Affiliate Member