West Central Montana Avalanche Center

Avalanche Forecaster Position

Currently one Missoula based position available:

Full-time seasonal 

Position Overview/Summary:

West Central Montana Avalanche Center (WCMAC) Avalanche Forecasters deliver avalanche forecasts and other information as required for the West Central Montana avalanche forecast area. The forecast area covers approximately 908,721 acres and is comprised of regions on the Bitterroot, Lolo and Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. These products provide backcountry recreationists with the information they need to identify avalanche hazards and make informed decisions about managing avalanche risk. Forecasters play an important role in raising public avalanche awareness and promoting recreational avalanche education. They are required to carry out duties in the field, which include travel and activities in avalanche terrain. Forecasters stay abreast of new developments and research and, on behalf of the WCMAC, may carry out research and/or development projects pertaining to topics relevant to the WCMAC vision, mission, and mandate.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

Avalanche Forecasting:

  • Obtain and analyze weather, snowpack, and avalanche activity data and evidence
  • Obtain and analyze weather forecast information
  • Assess and forecast avalanche hazard and risk

Produce products and provide services that inform and advise the public about avalanche hazard and avalanche risk including:

  • Public avalanche forecasts
  • Avalanche conditions reports, summaries, and outlooks
  • Avalanche accident and incident reports and analyses
  • Special Public Avalanche Warnings

Deliver avalanche information to the public by various means including:

  • Software, web and mobile applications
  • Written papers
  • Public presentations
  • Social media
  • Broadcast media

Raising Public Awareness and Promoting Recreational Avalanche Education:

Public outreach by various means including:

  • Software, web, and mobile applications
  • Written papers
  • Public presentations
  • Social media
  • Broadcast media
  • Outreach events
  • Avalanche workshops
  • Interact with backcountry recreationists in the office and in the field

Field Work:

  • Mountain travel, including in avalanche terrain, using vehicles, snowmobiles, skis, and/or other means
  • Make observations and record data pertinent to the formation and release of avalanches
  • Interact with USFS, NOAA field technicians and the public
  • Report to other users and share information from the field using professional (e.g. Missolaavalanche.org, SnowPilot) and non-professional (e.g. Missoulaavalanche.org blog post, social media, etc.) means.
  • Carry out other field tasks as required to support existing avalanche safety information interfaces and to develop new avalanche information public safety products and services

New Developments and Research:

  • Attend conferences and workshops for Continuing Professional Development purposes
  • Participate in annual training provided by the American Avalanche Association
  • Undertake research and development projects
  • Publish and/or present research and development results

Other Tasks:

  • Carry out other tasks assigned that fulfill the vision, mission, and mandate of the WCMAC.


Essential qualifications:

  • American Avalanche Association (A3) PRO 2 or equivalent
  • American Avalanche Association (A3) professional member or equivalent qualifications
  • Experience in a range of different snow climates
  • High-level written and verbal communication skills
  • Familiarity with using computer hardware, software, and online applications in technical contexts
  • Able to clearly and effectively communicate avalanche hazard and risk in English, in public and professional contexts
  • Advanced (80 hour) wilderness first aid course (or equivalent)
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Successful applicants must hold a diverse skill set and strong work ethic to contribute to the daily operations at the WCMAC

Desirable qualifications:

  • Experience in public avalanche forecasting
  • University degree in a technical subject
  • Advanced training in snow science and/or meteorology
  • Teaching and public speaking experience
  • Experience delivering presentations in professional and public contexts
  • Training and experience in technical writing
  • Media experience (radio, TV, print, social media)
  • Ski guiding certification
  • Mountain snowmobiling experience
  • Technical coding skills

If you are interested in applying for this position please send a cover letter and resume to Travis Craft by email at [email protected]