State of Washington Classified Job Specification
AVALANCHE FORECAST & CONTROL SPECIALIST
This is the journey level of the series. Performs a variety of basic weather observation and avalanche control tasks such as, but not limited to, recording wind speed and direction, air temperature, dew point and humidity, snow crystal classification; conducting snow pit investigations; installing and servicing remote weather monitoring equipment; placing and detonating explosives; diagramming snow conditions. Unusual problems that may occur are brought to a higher-level supervisor with probable outcomes and solutions.
Without direct supervision, records weather instrument readings; conducts snow pit investigations; documents ongoing observations, and evaluations and trends; compiles records and prepare summaries;
Perform datalogger and weather system programming;
Utilizing weather observations from instruments and other study plots, calculates and draws water equivalence, snow density, precipitation intensity and snow strength diagrams;
Installs, services, and disassembles for maintenance, wind and temperature sensing equipment;
Formulates hazards forecast based on observations and analysis; coordinates with maintenance division to schedule required control activities; communicates observations with Northwest Weather and Avalanche Control Center and federal, state and local agencies as required;
Conducts field studies in avalanche terrain to include hazard mapping, current and historical snow pack information, and graphical representation and explanation of findings;
Operates snow vehicles and heavy equipment required to transport personnel and equipment;
Conducts training activities in avalanche awareness and rescue.
May lead lower level staff.
Knowledge and Abilities
Knowledge of: techniques of traveling and surviving in mountainous terrain under adverse weather conditions; ordnance weapons used in avalanche control; explosives handling and use; avalanche control methods; heavy equipment operation; radio equipment operation; principles of weather instrumentation; highway maintenance operations; advanced knowledge of computer systems, batch file programming and data management.
Ability to: handle ordnance weapons and explosives in a prudent and safe manner; operate snow vehicles and heavy equipment; ski or travel in difficult terrain with loaded back pack; work effectively under difficult physical and environmental conditions; record weather data and maintain records.
There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.
High school graduation or GED certificate and two years of experience involving ski patrol, snow safety, avalanche control, U.S. Army Gunnery School courses, or explosive demolition work. Must be able to ski and climb advanced terrain in heavy snow and adverse weather, making parallel turns while carrying a loaded back pack weighing not less than 25 pounds; able to work at heights and when suspended by ropes.
A Washington State Explosive Users License with certification for Avalanche Control.
A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Class B with hazmat endorsement, without air brake restriction.
Class Specification History
New class, replaces 69010 Avalanche Control Technician, effective January 1, 2006.
Revise class. General revision; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.
Revised title (formerly Avalanche Forecast and Control Specialist 2), definition, typical work, knowledge and abilities, legal requirements and desirable qualifications; adopted June 13, 2019; effective July 1, 2019.