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6th Snow Science Winter School 2020



Information about the 6th Snow Science Winter School and online application will be available at the beginning of September 2019.


17-23 February 2019, Hailuoto, Finland


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 5th Snow Science Winter School will teach these advanced techniques, as micro-tomography, measurement of specific surface area by reflection and spectroscopy, near-infrared photography and high-resolution penetrometry. You will learn:

  • State-of-the-art snow measurement techniques especially on snow ice
  • Understanding the physical processes responsible for the evolution of the snowpack
  • Understanding snow - sea ice interactions and modeling

Target audience

Any graduate student or post-doc working on snow or in some snow related field, this year especially in sea ice measurements and modeling, is welcome to participate. Those fields include everybody interested in cryospheric sciences. 

Course structure

The focus of this workshop lies on alpine snowpacks, field measurements and snowpack models 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, and a comparison between field measurements and snow modelling results.

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 written, based on the measurements during the course.

Course cost

Approx 350 Euro including accommodation, meals and social events


Is open now

Due to the limited number of places, admission to the course is a tow-step process.

1. Application - You will first apply to the course by filling the online application form. Applications will close on October 30, 2018, 24:  UCT. The applications will be judged by the committee (Juha Lemmetyinen, Anna Kontu and Martin Schneebeli).

2. Registration - You will receive an invitation for registration, based on the evaluation made by the committee, until November 15, 2018. Please register until November 30, 2018 otherwise your place will be given to another applicant.


The Snow Science Winter Schools are joint project of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL.

Administrative questions and contact information

snowschool(at)slfto make life hard for spam


Will be announced soon

Preliminary program

Will follow soon

Travel Information

Will follow in November