Interactive Avalanche Talk


Join Laura Maguire as she discusses “Sense-making in the snow; coping with complexity and uncertainty in the mountains”.

Professionals who are responsible for public or client safety in mountains environments face risk decisions that are characterized by complexity and uncertainty. Expertise then, is both technical skill and the ability to adapt as conditions change.

Drawing on examples from high risk/high consequence domains, this talk will explore:
– The cognitive nature of expertise in the mountains and the role of distributed decision-making in risk management;
– What mountain safety professionals have in common with astronauts, emergency room doctors and fighter pilots;
– Emerging avalanche related research in human factors and resilience engineering;
– How you can contribute to furthering the science around sense-making in the snow

Laura Maguire is a graduate researcher at the Ohio State University where she studies human performance in complex, adaptive environments. She also teaches an undergraduate engineering course ‘Behind Human Error’ examining goal conflicts in work. She is a backcountry skier, alpinist, ice climber and former Fernie Alpine Resort liftie. Despite being preoccupied with some of the most catastrophic accidents in human history she is actually pretty fun to be around!

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