6th Snow Science Winter School, 16-22 February 2020, France


October 20, 2019

Event Date:

February 16, 2020 - February 22, 2020

Opportunity Cover Image - 6th Snow Science Winter School, 16-22 February 2020, France

6th Snow Science Winter School 2020 

16-22 February 2020, Col du Lautaret, France


Covering up to 49% of the total land surface in midwinter in the northern hemisphere, snow is a crucial component of the cryosphere. Snow plays a key role in our environnment, with social and economical implications such as the climate change, natural hazard, tourisms, etc. How does snow behave and interact with its surrounding largely depends on its microstructure, which varies widely from light dendritic snowflakes to small rounded grains or dense melt crusts for instance. Measuring and characterizing snow is therefore essential.

Great advances have been made over the past 15 years toward more quantitative, objective characterization of snow, allowing for a better, more physical description of the processes; they came along with new measurements techniques. These improved quantification methods of the snow cover must be spread to the cryosphere scientists community, and beyond, as beneficial to many applications in this field, e.g. hydrology, climatology, avalanche forecasting or earth observation from space.

The 6th Snow Science Winter School will teach these modern techniques of snow measurements. The school consists of a field training complemented by theoretical lessons. It includes the practice with some of the state-of-the-art snow measurement techniques (specific surface area by reflection and spectroscopy, near-infrared photography, high-resolution penetrometry, micro-tomography, etc). Students will learn about how to characterize snow cover, what are the fundamental processes responsible for its evolution, and how does it interacts with the environment. For this edition, a special focus will be on snow in a changing climate, impact on human and nature.

Target audience

Any graduate student or post-doc working on snow or in some snow related field, this year especially in climate change and impacts on human and nature, is welcome to participate. Those fields include everybody interested in cryospheric sciences. 

Course structure

The focus of this school lies on alpine snowpack field measurements combined with theoretical lessons in the classroom. Students are supervised by a team of lecturers, experts in various snow-related fields and from different countries worldwide.

Field measurements will be done in small groups of 3-4 students. Each group of students will have to prepare a report describing the methods, results and interpretation of the data they will have collected over the week, in addition to other inputs that could be provided (modelling data for example).

The course corresponds to 3 ETCS-Points. The winter school is listed in the coursebook of the doctoral school at EPFL Lausanne. To receive full credit, a report taking 40 hours of homework must be handed in and will be evaluated.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Publish Date
September 02, 2019
Link To Original