ISSW 2012: September 16 - 21
The most Northern ISSW was held in Anchorage at the Dena’ina Convention Center which proved to be an excellent setting for the over 700 registrants.
Unique to this ISSW, was a display and silent auction of artwork by Alaskan Artists – called the Whiteout Gallery. The proceeds from the auction went directly to ISSW.
Sunday was filled with usual meetings and an excellent Social hour, but also included a RAMMS Dynamic Modeling Workshop put on by SLF which was well received.
The oral papers began Monday with a presentation about Alaska by Jill Fredston. Papers ran through the morning and early afternoon followed by Posters and a social hour most days.
The Field trip was a new adventure for ISSW. Participants boarded a train at 8AM in Anchorage bound for Moose Pass. Along the way people were dropped off for various field trips including visiting Alyeska ski area, rafting, and hiking. However, the day had high winds, heavy rain, and flooding, so most people stayed on the train the whole way and viewed the avalanche paths through the windows while socializing and enjoying the Bistro cars.
On Friday, each of the two morning sessions were broken into 4 concurrent Workshops. The early session consisted of Workshops on Rescue Devices, Social Media and Web Based information, Technology, and Dynamics Modeling. The second session had workshops on Spatial Variability, Human Factors, Sledding, and Highways. An Avalanche Dog Handler Rendezvous wrapped up the morning. Final oral presentations ended the meeting in the afternoon.
The week of ISSW afforded many chances for the participants to mingle. Monday continued the tradition of female attendees gathering for a “Divas Night Out”. The “remaining” attendees were invited to join them after 9PM. Tuesday’s Movie night was held at the Bear Tooth Theater Pub. The evening had a great collection of films and slides including presentations by two guest speakers – Fred Becky and Kit DesLauriers. The Banquet Speaker Thursday night was Dr. Matthew Sturm, a leader in Arctic Climate Change Research, but he spoke on his experiences traveling across the Arctic.