Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies

Swamp Angel Study Site
Swamp Angel Study Plot (subalpine)

Senator Beck Study Site
Senator Beck Study Plot (alpine)

Putney Study Site
Putney Study Plot (summit)

Senator Beck Basin Stream Gauge
Basin Stream Gauge

St Paul Basestation
St. Paul RF Base Station

The Center for Snow & Avalanche Studies serves the mountain science community and regional resource managers by hosting & conducting interdisciplinary research and conducting integrative 24/7/365 monitoring that captures weather, snowpack, radiation, soils, plant community and hydrologic signals of regional climate trends.

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Funders & Partners

The Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies is an independent, not-for-profit research and education organization seeking and receiving financial support from a wide variety of sources in order to perform our mission:

Research Funding: the CSAS has received direct research funding from the National Science Foundation, from NOAA’s Western Water Assessment program, and from numerous regional and state water agencies in Colorado.  Other potential sources of snow research funding include NASA, the US Forest Service, other institutes and foundations, and industry.  The research teams we host are also funded by NSF, NASA, NOAA and other smaller sources. CSAS sometimes provides direct research support services to hosted researchers, earning fees. 

Mountain System Monitoring Funding: in the near absence of federal sources of funding for long-term climate monitoring programs, the CSAS has sought and received support from several types of “Citizen Funders” concerned about climate change in mountains. They include outdoor industry companies like The North Face, 1% For the Planet participants like Venture Snowboards, foundations, and ‘just plain’ folks.

CODOS Funding: the Colorado Dust-on-Snow (CODOS) program based at the CSAS is directly applying the results of our NSF-funded research regarding the effects of desert dust on mountain snowpacks.  Local water management agencies, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Bureau of Reclamation and others are contracting CODOS for dust-in-snow monitoring and analysis services in watersheds throughout the Colorado mountains.

Education Funding: many colleges and universities have historically utilized Silverton as a base for their ‘snow and ice field camps’.  CSAS facilitates and assists with those field classes, earning very modest fees in return.  CSAS has undertaken to help K-12 teachers utilize our Mountain System Monitoring program by hosting class field trips to the Senator Beck Basin Study Area, and by providing our SBBSA data in near-real-time for use in classrooms. Mountain Hardwear and Protect Our Winters provided seed funding for this program.

General Operations Funding: Friends of the CSAS provide ‘unrestricted’ contributions ranging from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars to help us meet the CSAS’s general operating expenses.  In addition, many research and other grant proposals submitted by the CSAS include requests for ‘indirect cost recovery’, funds that cover the general operating expenses related to performing a specific project.  Hosted researchers also pay fees for utilization of the Senator Beck Basin infrastructure and our Center facilities, contributing their fair share to cover the CSAS’s general operating costs.