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Pacific Northwest Ski Area Association breaks tradition to honor 3 Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center meteorologists

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on April 25, 2012 at 6:57 am with No Comments »
April 25, 2012 6:57 am

From the Pacific Northwest Ski Area Association:

Last evening, the membership of the Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association (PNSAA) broke tradition and presented three Forest Service Partner of the Year awards – one each to Garth Ferber, Kenny Kramer, and Mark Moore.  The Partner honor is reserved for a USDA Forest Service employee who significantly and decisively helps to improve the quality and safety of Pacific Northwest winter sports facilities.  Ferber, Kramer, and Moore are meteorologists employed by the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center (NWAC) – a unit of the USDA Forest Service.  In recognition of their nearly 70 years of combined service to the NWAC, the Association is pleased to share 2012 Partner of Year awards with the NWAC’s Ferber, Kramer, and Moore.

Brief Biographies of 2012 Honorees:    Garth Ferber earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in atmospheric sciences from the University of Washington in 1986 and 1990, respectively.  Ferber went to work at the Seattle National Weather Service in 1990.  The NWAC hired him in 1993.  A Pacific Northwest backcountry enthusiast, Ferber is the focal point of the NWAC’s weather station programs and data, forecast products, and the Friends of the Avalanche Center’s popular Snow Pack Information Exchange.

Kenny Kramer earned a bachelor of science degree in atmospheric sciences from Oregon State University.  Shortly after graduation, Kramer was commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and trained at Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy (Long Island, New York).  Kramer served six years as a NOAA Corps officer – performing deck officer duties on two research vessels in Alaskan and Hawaiian waters.  He also performed a land assignment as a marine forecaster at the National Weather Service (Seattle Forecast Office).  Kramer’s career as an NWAC avalanche meteorologist began in 1990.  Presently, Kramer is point person for Automatic Weather Information Processing system maps and macros, Resource Advisory Committee proposals, and summer coordinator for the NWAC’s network of remote, automated weather stations.

Mark Moore directs NWAC’s operations and also serves as mountain meteorologist and avalanche forecaster.  He co-founded the NWAC in 1976 and has been affiliated with NWAC for 36 years.  Moore earned a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from UC-San Diego.  His lifelong interest in snow and snow avalanches began in the early 1970s – with his work as a professional ski patroller in California’s Sierra Nevada.  Moore received a master’s of science in atmospheric sciences from the University of Washington.  He is the point person for the Center’s budget, avalanche accident information, website development, computer and weather station management, and fire weather research (summer months).  He has authored, co-authored, and presented a variety of scientific papers during his tenure in the mountain weather and avalanche fields.  He also serves as an instructor for avalanche-related schools and consultant for snow, fire weather, snow avalanche, and weather instrumentation-related issues.

“The NWAC is one of the largest public safety programs the USDA Forest Service has in the Pacific Northwest Region.  The dedicated NWAC staff works tirelessly to deliver the weather and avalanche forecasts that undoubtedly save lives and are relied upon by state and federal agencies, as well as a broad array of private industry partners,” noted Sean Wetterberg, Winter Sports & Special Uses Program Manager on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

“By providing ski area operators solid and reliable forecasts of mountain weather and potential avalanche danger, the NWAC staff helps take some complexity out of day-to-day ski area operations,” observed Duncan Howat, general manager at northwest Washington’s Mt. Baker Ski Area.  “I have thoroughly enjoyed 36 years of near daily interaction with this Forest Service unit, which is comprised of dedicated professions,” added Howat.

“The PNSAA is pleased to be in a position to honor the current NWAC staff,” noted Scott Kaden, PNSAA President.  “Since its inception, the NWAC has served the public well by effectively reducing the impacts associated with adverse mountain weather and hazardous snow packs.  The Association salutes the NWAC for the important work it does each and every winter – the mountain weather data collection, weather and avalanche forecasting, and public safety-related outreach work with different user groups,” added Kaden.


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