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7th EGU Snow Science Winter School 2022

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13-19 February 2022, Sodankylä, Finland

Special topic "Snow and its spatial variability"



Covering up to 49% of the total land surface in midwinter in the northern hemisphere, snow is a crucial component of the cryosphere. Snow plays a key role in our environnment, with social and economical implications such as the climate change, natural hazard, tourisms, etc. How does snow behave and interact with its surrounding largely depends on its microstructure, which varies widely from light dendritic snowflakes to small rounded grains or dense melt crusts. Measuring and characterizing snow is essential.

Great advances have been made over the past 15 years toward more quantitative, objective characterization of snow, allowing for a better, more physical description of the processes; they came along with new measurements techniques. These improved quantification methods of the snow cover must be spread to the cryosphere scientists community, and beyond, as beneficial to many applications in this field, e.g. hydrology, climatology, avalanche forecasting or earth observation from space.

The 7th EGU Snow Science Winter School will teach these modern techniques of snow measurements. The school consists of a field training complemented by theoretical lessons. It includes the practice with some of the state-of-the-art snow measurement techniques (specific surface area by reflection and spectroscopy, near-infrared photography, high-resolution penetrometry, micro-tomography, etc). Students will learn about how to characterize snow cover, what are the fundamental processes responsible for its evolution, and how does it interacts with the environment. For this edition, a special focus will be on snow and its spatial variability in landscapes.

Target audience

Any graduate student or post-doc working on snow or in some snow related field is welcome to participate. Those fields include everybody interested in cryospheric sciences. 

Course structure

The focus of this school lies on taiga and tundra snowpack field measurements combined with theoretical lessons in the classroom. Students are supervised by a team of lecturers, experts in various snow-related fields and from different countries worldwide.

Field 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 of the data they will have collected over the week, in addition to other inputs that could be provided (modelling data for example).

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 handed in and will be evaluated.

Lecturers and field teachers

- Anna Kontu (FMI) - field measurements and remote sensing, Arctic snowpack

- Neige Calonne (CNRM/CEN) - snow microstructure

- Martin Schneebeli (WSL-SLF) - snow instruments and snow stratigraphy

- Giulia Mazzotti (WSL-SLF) - snow-forest-radiation interactions

- Nick Rutter (Northumbria University) - Arctic snowpack

Course cost

300 euros including accommodation, meals and social events.


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

1. Application is now closed.

2. Registration - You will receive an invitation for registration, based on the evaluation made by the committee, until November 16, 2021. Please register until November 30, 2021 otherwise your place will be given to another applicant.


The Snow Science Winter Schools are a joint project of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, and Météo-France-CNRS/CNRM.

This year the local coordinator is Anna Kontu, Arctic Space Centre (FMI-ARC), Sodankylä. 

Administrative question and contact information

Location and travel information

The course will be at Sodankylä, Finland, in the buildings of the Arctic Space Centre of Finnish Meteorological Institute in Sodankylä, Finnish Lapland (67.367 °N, 26.629 °E, 179 m) with direct access to field sites. In Sodankylä we host programs exploring upper-air chemistry and physics, atmospheric column measurements, snow and soil hydrology, biosphere-atmosphere interaction and satellite calibration-validation studies.

Detailed information how to reach FMI-ARC is here.

Important information

As the course is to a great extent based on field work, participants must:

  1. bring their own winter gear, suitable for snowy and cold conditions (warm and wind-proof clothing (onion principle), snow boots, thick gloves/mittens, warm underwear, etc)
  2. be healthy enough to undertake the field day (2-3 hours hiking with snow shoes)
  3. have a valid travel and health insurance, a COVID-certificate valid in the European Union. For details check the Finnish border control website.

Provisional sponsors


chlick here