Degree(s) Held:John Sykes

B.A. Psychology, Alaska Pacific University

Minor in Outdoor Studies

Degree Sought:

M.S. Earth Sciences, Snow Science


 Jordy Hendrikx

Email Addresses:

[email protected]


Project Summary

Poor decision-making by educated and experienced backcountry recreationists comprise a large portion of avalanche incidents and fatalities in North America.  Previous research on decision-making in avalanche terrain based on accident analysis and user surveys has identified many ‘human factors’, or behavioral patterns that lead to high risk decision-making.  Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking provides a quantitative analysis of terrain selection by backcountry users.  This research focuses on the analysis of GPS tracks and implementation of a geographic information system (GIS) model to extract terrain metrics from publicly available GIS data.  In addition to the GPS tracks, psychographic surveys are administered to evaluate factors that contribute to decision-making processes of participants



International Snow Science Workshop, Anchorage, AK 2012– Attendee

Southcental Alaska Snow Science Workshop, Anchorage, AK 2013-2015 - Attendee

International Snow Science Workshop, Breckenridge, CO 2016– Attendee

Southwest Montana Snow Safety Training, Big Sky, MT 2016 – Presenter, ‘Summary of MSU research on Lone Mountain Rock Glacier’.

GNFAC Professional Development Seminar, Bozeman, MT 2017 – Presenter, ‘Human Factors in Lift Access Backcountry Skiers’.

MSU Earth Science Colloquium, Bozeman, MT 2017 – Poster Presentation, ‘GPS Tracking and Terrain Analysis of Lift Access Backcountry Skiers on Saddle Peak, Bridger Mountains, Montana.

URISA Intermountain GIS Conference, West Yellowstone, MT 2017– Moderator 

Professional Experience

Montana State University, Graduate Teaching Assistant

Courses: Weather & Climate, Snow Dynamics & Accumulation

2016 - 2017


American Avalanche Institute, Avalanche Educator



Alaska Avalanche School, Avalanche Educator



Alaska Mountaineering School, Mountaineering Guide/Instructor



Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center, Internship



Alaska Pacific University, Adjunct Instructor & Teaching Assistant

Courses: Glaciology & Glacier Travel.



Training & Affiliations

American Avalanche Association, Professional Member


American Avalanche Institute/Alaska Avalanche School, Level 3 Avalanche Course


Alaska Avalanche School, Level 2 Avalanche Course


Alaska Pacific University, Level 1 Avalanche Course


NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness First Responder

 John Sykes Fear and Fascination