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3rd Snow Science Winter School

12-18 February 2017, Sodankylä, Finland

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The cryosphere forms an integral part of the climate system of the Earth. Measuring the properties of the seasonal and perennial snow cover properties is therefore essential in understanding interactions and feedback mechanisms related to the cryosphere.

Snow is a extremely complex and highly variable medium, and all essential properties of seasonal snow cover are challenging to measure. Diverse fields such as hydrology, climatology, avalanche forecasting and Earth Observation from space benefit from improved quantification of snow cover properties, in particular related to the snow microstructure.

The past 10 years snow science has seen a rapid change from a semi-quantitative to a quantitative science. Understanding physical and chemical processes in the snowpack requires detailed measurements of the microstructure.

The 3rd Snow Science Winter School will teach advanced field techniques, (e.g. high-resolution penetrometry and casting of snow samples for micro-tomography), and relate these measurements to microwave and spectral albedo measurements. Sodankylä has a unique setup of ground-based radiometers.

Target audience

Any graduate student or post-doc working on snow or in some snow related field, this year especially in remote sensing of the cryosphere, is welcome ot participate. Those fields include everybody interested in cryospheric sciences. 

Course structure

The focus of this workshop lies on field and laboratory measurements, combined with theoretical lessons in the classroom.

Field and laboratory 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.

The course corresponds to 3 ETCS-Points. The winter school is listed in the coursebook of the doctoral school at EPFL Lausanne and the University of Helsinki. To receive full credit, a report taking 40 hours of homework must be written, based on the measurements during the course.


The housing will be in Sodankylä with direct access to the field sites.

Course cost and funding

approx 350 Euro including

  • Full accommodation at Sodankylä (including breakfast, field lunch and dinner) from Sunday, Feb. 12 - Saturday, Feb. 18 2017

Special funding support

COST HarmoSnow ( makes full funding available for 5-8 students from COST inclusiveness countries (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey)

Please indicate in the application when you plan to apply for COST funding.

Application will open in September 2016

The organization is with the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Due to the limited number of places (the maximual number is 25 students), admission to the course is a two-step process:

1. Application - You will first apply to the course by filling the online application form. Applications will close on November 10, 2016, 24:00 UCT. The applications will be judged by the committee (Juha Lemmetyinen, Martin Schneebeli).

2. Registration - You will receive an invitation for registration, based on the evaluation made by the committee, until November 15, 2016. Please register until November 20, 2016 otherwise your place will be given to another applicant.


The organization is with the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
Anna Kontu and Juha Lemmetyinen (FMI)

Lecturers (provisional)

Contact information

Preliminary program

will follow soon

Travel Information

will follow in November