The mission of the Alaska Avalanche School is to provide exceptional experience-based avalanche safety education to all users of the mountain environment.The Alaska Avalanche School (AAS) was founded in 1976 by Doug Fesler, the chief ranger of Chugach State Park, who spent many years recovering the bodies of avalanche victims and wanted to try to stem the rise in avalanche accidents through education. One of the first schools of its type in the country, the AAS gained an international reputation for providing top quality, intensive field-oriented avalanche and mountain safety training for backcountry travelers. In its early years, the School was part of the Snow Avalanche Safety Program under the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. In 1986, when the statewide avalanche program fell victim to budget cuts, Fesler teamed up with Jill Fredston, the director of the newly defunct Alaska Avalanche Forecast Center and co-author of the classic primer Snow Sense: A Guide to Evaluating Avalanche Hazard, to create the Alaska Mountain Safety Center, a nonprofit organization. As part of their mission to promote mountain safety through education, publishing, consulting, and research, they directed the AAS until the winter of 2005-2006 when the Alaska Avalanche School was established as a separate nonprofit organization. With a staff of 37 instructors, the school teaches hundreds of participants each winter season, both in the field and in the classroom.

OUR BOARD

The Alaska Avalanche School’s volunteer Board of Directors is made up of recognized leaders across many areas of expertise. They represent the broad diversity of our community and contribute significant amounts of time, talent, and energy to further the mission of the organization.

Heather Johnson : President

Heather Johnson

President

Hazel Blum : Vice President

Hazel Blum

Vice President

Andrew Dahlin : Treasurer

Andrew Dahlin

Treasurer

Emily Sullivan : Secretary

Emily Sullivan

Secretary

Peter Wadsworth : Board Member

Peter Wadsworth

Board Member

Jessie Janowski : Board Member

Jessie Janowski

Board Member

Alex Lee : Board Member

Alex Lee

Board Member

Andy Moderow : Board Member

Andy Moderow

Board Member

MacKenzie Barnwell : Board Member

MacKenzie Barnwell

Board Member

Graham Predeger : Board Member

Graham Predeger

Board Member

Jason Buttrick : Board Member

Jason Buttrick

Board Member

Brock Roden : Board Member

Brock Roden

Board Member

OUR STAFF

Get to know the professional instructors at Alaska Avalanche School. Click on an image for a full bio statement.

Melis Coady : Executive Director

Melis Coady

Executive Director

Kakiko Ramos-Leon : Assistant Director / Instructor

Kakiko Ramos-Leon

Assistant Director / Instructor

Jake Kayes : Staffing Manager / Instructor

Jake Kayes

Staffing Manager / Instructor

Caleb Rauch : Operations / Instructor

Caleb Rauch

Operations / Instructor

Anitra Winkler : Instructor

Anitra Winkler

Instructor

Blaine Smith : Instructor

Blaine Smith

Instructor

Brian Kramp : Instructor

Brian Kramp

Instructor

Brock Roden : Instructor

Brock Roden

Instructor

Brooke Edwards : Instructor

Brooke Edwards

Instructor

Carly Davis : Snowmachine Instructor

Carly Davis

Snowmachine Instructor

Chelsea Bomba : Instructor

Chelsea Bomba

Instructor

Chris Love : Snowmachine Instructor

Chris Love

Snowmachine Instructor

Christina Twogood : Snowmachine Instructor

Christina Twogood

Snowmachine Instructor

Cory Hughes : Snowmachine Instructor

Cory Hughes

Snowmachine Instructor

Eeva Latosuo : Instructor

Eeva Latosuo

Instructor

Elias Holt : Instructor

Elias Holt

Instructor

Forest Wagner : Instructor

Forest Wagner

Instructor

Fredrik Norrsell : Instructor

Fredrik Norrsell

Instructor

Graham Predeger : Instructor

Graham Predeger

Instructor

George Creighton : Instructor

George Creighton

Instructor

Jeff Moskowitz : Instructor

Jeff Moskowitz

Instructor

Karsen Cullen : Instructor

Karsen Cullen

Instructor

Kyle Van Peursem : Instructor

Kyle Van Peursem

Instructor

Lesley Seale : Instructor

Lesley Seale

Instructor

Mark Walters : Instructor

Mark Walters

Instructor

Mary Gianotti : Instructor

Mary Gianotti

Instructor

Mike Janes : Instructor

Mike Janes

Instructor

Mike Buck : Snowmachine Instructor

Mike Buck

Snowmachine Instructor

Pat Dryer : Instructor

Pat Dryer

Instructor

Rob Bowler : Instructor

Rob Bowler

Instructor

Sean “Sully” Sullivan : Snowmachine Instructor

Sean “Sully” Sullivan

Snowmachine Instructor

Sean Fallon : Snowmachine Instructor

Sean Fallon

Snowmachine Instructor

Taylor Guetschow : Instructor

Taylor Guetschow

Instructor