Field Instructors


Each field session is lead by one of the classroom instructors. Additional staff may be brought in to assist based on attendance numbers.  Below is the list of the primary instructors to lead the 2016 sessions:


 Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Mike RheamMike Rheam 

Mike works as the Avalanche Hazard Reduction Leader for Jackson Hole Ski   Patrol and as a forcaster for the Bridger-Teton NF Avalanche Center. Mike is the  coordinator and lead instructor for the JH NAS Field Session. He has had extensive experience guiding and forecasting for Valdez Heli-Ski and Chugach Powder Guides and is currently a guide and snow safety consultant for Tordrillo Lodge in the Alaska Range. Mike floats, fishes, hikes and skis with his wife and daughter, both of whom ski better than he does.

 Mccollisterchris Photo

Chris McCollister
Chris works both as ski area avalanche forecaster for Jackson Hole Resort and as a backcountry forecaster for the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center. He has a MS in Physical Geography with an emphasis on GIS. Chris developed an innovative GIS program that integrated historical weather and avalanche data for Jackson Hole Resort. He has been a field instructor for the NAS since 2001.

 Snowbird Sk & Summer Resort

KellamJanet Kellam
Janet is the Program Director for the NAS and serves as the Chair for the NAS Steering Committee.  Janet worked with the Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center from 1996 to 2010, taking on the director position in 2000. Under her oversight it developed from a fledgling avalanche center into one of the leading centers in the country. With a degree in environmental biology and an extensive background in alpine and nordic skiing, Janet became the first woman in Idaho to be a licensed lead backcountry ski guide in 1981. She has worked as a heli-ski and backcountry guide, a winter specialist for documentary films and director of operations for Galena Lodge and Nordic Center near Ketchum, Idaho. She has instructed a variety of avalanche classes with a number of established organizations, has a keen interest in professional development avalanche programs, assisted with FS National Avalanche Center projects and was president of the American Avalanche Association from 2007 to 2010.

 Crystal Mountain

Baugher Photo1

Paul Baugher 

Paul is the ski patrol director at Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington State and risk manager for Boyne West resorts. Paul also directs the Northwest Avalanche Institute a group that consults on avalanche matters for a variety of clients including Burlington Northern railroad, guide services, the military, SAR groups, and land use agencies. Paul’s work also includes consulting with ski areas across the country on ski safety and risk management issues. Additionally, he is a co-owner and guide with International Mountain Guides (IMG), an AMGA accredited climbing guide service. Paul is the steering committee chairman of the National Avalanche School and a member of the board of the National Avalanche Foundation. Since the 80's, Paul has worked as a snow safety director, ski patrolman, and heli-ski guide in winter and as a mountaineering guide and climbing ranger at Mt. Rainier National Park in the summer. He is a former vice president of the American Avalanche Association. Paul received a BA in Economics from the University of Puget Sound in 1978.

 Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Evanczyk Photo

Ryan Evanczyk
Ryan got his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Babson College in 1991. He has worked in a variety of industries from Logistics software consulting to most recently residential construction. Ryan first started working at Arapahoe Basin in 2000 as a volunteer patroller. From there, he quickly became a member of the paid professional staff while continuing with construction during the off season. In 2006, Leif Borgeson hired him onto the Snow Safety team as an Avalanche Technician. He was eventually named the Director of Snow Safety at Arapahoe Basin in the spring of 2013. He now works full-time winter and summer at Arapahoe Basin having hung up his tool belt for weather stations, explosives and avalanches. He is a member of the International Society of Explosive Engineers as well as a member of the American Avalanche Association.



Ethan Greene
Ethan has approached snow and avalanches from both a practical and theoretical perspective. He worked Big Sky Ski Resort in Montana as a ski patroller and at the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center in Salt Lake City as an avalanche forecaster. Ethan studied meteorology at the University of Utah (BS) and snow drift formation at Colorado State University (MS). He has also spent a lot of time looking at the microstructure of snow and its metamorphism in very large freezers in Colorado and Switzerland (PhD). Ethan has contributed to a variety of general interest and scientific articles, and chaired the committee that produced Snow, Weather, and Avalanches: Observational Guidelines for Avalanche Programs in the United States. He is currently a member of the IUGG Commission for the Cryospheric Sciences Working Group on Snow Classification. Ethan has taught courses on mountain meteorology and avalanche science in Alaska, Montana, Utah and Colorado. He is currently the director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center and lives in Leadville, Colorado.