A cool opportunity is worth shouting about: so we are shouting with a digital “Hear ye, hear ye!” Backcountry Access and the American Avalanche Association have a sweet scholarship opportunity. The aim is to support female-identifying avalanche workers and their professional development.
Each BCA/A3 professional development scholarship comes with $1500.00 in tuition support for women to take Professional Level 1 or Professional Level 2 avalanche courses. According to Jayne Nolan, Executive Director of the American Avalanche Association, “finances are often one of the biggest hurdles preventing women from furthering their professional avalanche careers, and we hope these scholarships will help with that.“
Nolan added that A3 and BCA hope to expand opportunities to include mentorship and community development. In the meantime, applications are due December 6, which, if you are busy with all this early season snow, is less than a month away.
Certainly, the backcountry community has made progress in the past few years. Yet Nolan estimates 10-20% of A3’s membership identify as female according to a 2020-2021 membership survey. What’s clear is that we need broader representation for women in the community.
Nolan also highlighted some inroads being made for women within the avalanche community. She cited the following:
—Seeing women present at Snow and Avalanche Workshops – I just got back from the Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop Pro Day and there were probably just as many if not more female presenters as there were male. That is huge for women in the crowd who are in or may be considering going into the avalanche profession.
—Scholarships – in addition to A3’s scholarships, other organizations like AIARE also offer women’s scholarships for continued avalanche education
—Community – last year we hosted a Women Lead webinar for members and we plan to host at least one female-centric webinar each winter. This creates a space where women can connect with each other, learn from each other, and feel seen.
I would be remiss if I didn’t honor the many women who have been in the community much longer than I have – these women have mentored, led, trail blazed, and created groups like Avalanche Divas to build connections and support women in the industry.
Here are the deets and specific requirements according to A3 and BCA:
Schools Involved with the Scholarship
-Alaska Avalanche School
-American Avalanche Institute
-American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE)
-Colorado Mountain College
-National Avalanche School
-Silverton Avalanche School
-Recipient must be a current Affiliate or Professional Member of the American Avalanche Association (A3).
-Recipient must utilize scholarship for Pro 1 or Pro 2 Course with an Approved A3 Provider.
-Scholarship must be utilized during the 2022-2023 winter season.
-Recipients must submit a Course Completion Certificate following the completion of their course. Upon receipt, the recipient will receive a reimbursement check for tuition.
-Scholarship cannot be used for travel or other related expenses.
-Scholarship recipients must provide headshot and bio to A3/BCA as well as a follow up quote and photo to be used in BCA and A3 promotional materials.
Please fill out the submission form found here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1H1St3_ORrqWLHrcH8agGb7NnCSwBuh9ECRQe99R_lW0/edit
Applications are DUE by December 6, 2022. Please contact Jayne Nolan at Jayne@avalanche.org with any questions regarding the application process or scholarship.
While most of the WildSnow backcountry skiing blog posts are best attributed to a single author, some work well as done by the group.