CAIC Staff

Photo of CAIC staff for 2022-2023 Season

Leadership Team

  • Ethan Greene, Director
  • Brian Lazar, Deputy Director, Central Mountains Lead Forecaster
  • Mike Cooperstein, Northern Mountains Lead Forecaster
  • Rebecca Hodgetts, Southern Mountains Lead Forecaster
  • Jake Barney, Development Manager
  • Julie Pomerantz, Program Assistant

Northern Mountains Group

  • Austin Divesta
  • Ian Fowler
  • Drew Gibson
  • Jason Konigsberg
  • Spencer Logan
  • Ben Pritchett
  • Ron Simenhois
  • Ryan Zarter

Central Mountains Group

  • Will Barrett
  • Dylan Craaybeek
  • Brandon Levy
  • Andrew McWilliams

Southern Mountains Group

  • Chris Bilbrey
  • Matt Huber
  • Colin Mitchell
  • Amy Pertuz
  • Jeremy Yanko

Technical Team

  • Allan Porter
  • John Snook

Ethan Greene, Director

photo of Ethan Green

Ethan has worked with snow and avalanches since 1990 and directed the CAIC since 2005. He grew up in Boulder, Colorado and worked as a ski patroller (Big Sky Ski Resort, Montana) and as a backcountry avalanche forecaster (USFS Utah Avalanche Forecast Center). He studied meteorology (B.S., University of Utah), mountain weather and snow-drift formation (M.S., Colorado State University), and snow metamorphism and microstructure (Ph.D., Colorado State University). Ethan has published a variety of articles and been a member of national and international working groups on snow, weather, and avalanche topics. Ethan lives in Leadville with his wife and two children.

Brian Lazar, Deputy Director

photo of Brian Lazar

Brian began working in the mountains in the mid 1990s. He has worked in a variety of snow climates on both sides of the equator as a mountain guide, as an avalanche educator, curriculum developer, as the former Executive Director with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), and member of the American Avalanche Association Education Committee. Brian earned a M.S. in Engineering, studying snow and ice mechanics in Alaska’s Chugach Range. He worked for many years as a consultant investigating snowpack runoff and potential changes to seasonal snowpacks as a result of climate change. Brian lives in Carbondale with his wife and two kids.

Mike Cooperstein, Northern Mountains Lead Forecaster

photo of Mike Cooperstein

Mike “Coop” Cooperstein began his snow career when he was 18 years old, as a ski patroller at Snowshoe in West Virginia. He soon moved to Bozeman, Montana. He worked at the Yellowstone Club for 11 seasons as the Assistant Snow Safety and Assistant Ski Patrol Director. In 2008, he completed his M.S. in Earth Sciences from Montana State University studying surface hoar and near-surface faceting. He co-owned a guide service, climbing and skiing in some of the world’s highest ranges. Coop came to the CAIC in 2015.

Rebecca Hodgetts, Southern Mountains Lead Forecaster

photo of Rebecca Hodgetts

Rebecca “Becs” Hodgetts began patrolling in the mid 1990s on Mt Ruapehu, a volcano located in the central plateau of New Zealand’s North Island. She went on to work at other resorts in New Zealand, Canada, and the US. She worked 12 years at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, first as an avalanche technician and later as Assistant Patrol Director. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Otago University and completed the Canadian Avalanche Association’s Applied Avalanche Risk Management course. Since joining the CAIC, she has worked as both a highway and backcountry forecaster.

Jake Barney

Jake Barney staff shot

Jake joined the CAIC in the fall of 2021 to manage technology products. This is his first professional job in the snow world after spending a decade leading research and evaluation projects in social services. He moved to Colorado from Minnesota in order to drop out of a geography Ph.D.   He has been an avid recreational user of avalanche forecasts for the last seven years, and a volunteer ski patroller at Loveland Ski Area for the last four. In the summer you'll find him trail jogging with his dog, backpacking with his wife, or planning his next bike tour. 


Will Barrett

photo of Will Barrett

Will started ski patrolling at Breckenridge Ski Resort in 1989. He rose through the ranks of Ski Patrol to become an Avalanche Forecaster, Snow Safety Director and Assistant Director of Ski Patrol. Will has a passion for climbing, backcountry skiing, rafting, flyfishing and just about everything else to do in the mountains. He and his family live in Buena Vista, Colorado in the heart of the Sawatch Range.

Chris Bilbrey

photo of Chris Bilbrey

Chris learned about backcountry skiing in the late 1990s at Fort Lewis College. His avalanche career spans almost two decades as a ski patroller at Wolf Creek Ski Area, snowpack field observer and educator for the Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, and forecaster at the Flathead Avalanche Center. Chris is pursuing a M.S. from Montana State University integrating snow and environmental science research. He worked as a firefighter and EMT for Durango Fire. Chris loves spending time in the mountains, remote river canyons, and landing big fish with his wife and daughter.

Dylan Craaybeek

photo of Dylan Craaybeek

Dylan grew up in New England spending every weekend during the winter skiing at his family cabin in Maine. Upon graduating high school and moving immediately to Colorado he found his true love for the mountains in the Gore Range. While living in Vail for five years, Dylan graduated from the Colorado Mountain College Avalanche Science Program. Since then he has been teaching avalanche courses, guiding on skis and splitboards, and researching snow hydrology. When he is not studying or playing in the snow you are likely to find Dylan out rock climbing, biking, trail running, or slacklining.

Austin Divesta

photo of Austin Divesta

Born and raised in Colorado, Austin fell in love with skiing the mountains at a very young age through experiences he had with his Dad, who had a similar career path. He pursued a degree in Outdoor Recreation at Western State College in Gunnison, CO. After college, he started his ski patrol career at Park City Mountain where he stayed for five seasons. He worked for three years as the Assistant Patrol Director of Monarch Ski Area, where he began training his dog, Fawkes, for avalanche rescue. Austin spends his summers as a wildland firefighter and has volunteered with the Western Mountain Rescue team. He can still find reprieve through mountain biking, rock climbing, and of course, skiing powder.

Ian Fowler

photo of Ian Fowler

Ian grew up in the avalanche and ski mecca of England. Travels as a kid taught him about the wind slabs in Scotland and the wide-open bowls of the European Alps. He has worked in New Zealand, the Alps, Canada, Alaska, and Colorado; as a ski patroller, mountain guide, and avalanche educator. During this period he gained his IFMGA Mountain Guide Certification through the American Mountain Guide Association. Now, he is excited to share his passion for snow as a forecaster in the Boulder office, close to the place he calls home with his wife and two daughters.

Drew Gibson

Drew Gibson CAIC Staff

Drew grew up in the Colorado mountains where a weekend ski patrol hobby quickly turned serious, spending 18 years wearing a white cross as an avalanche forecaster and paramedic at Copper Mountain. Throughout the years he has also worked as an educator, guide and forecaster in NZ and the US, most recently for the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center. Drew volunteered for many years with Summit County Rescue Group and was on the board of directors of the Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment nonprofit. Outside of avalanche work, Drew  spends time riding bikes, climbing, and working as a paramedic. Drew will be working as a weather and avalanche forecaster out of the main office in Boulder and is based out of Frisco, CO

Matt Huber

photo of Matt Huber

Matt began working as a ski patroller at Snowmass in 1996 and quickly moved into a dedicated snow safety position. In 2015, he and his family moved on to Idaho. He returned to Colorado and the CAIC in 2018 and currently focuses on highway avalanche safety on the southeast side of the San Juan Mountains. He spent most of the summer seasons since 1993 working for the US Forest Service in their wildfire program and cursing the heat while waiting for the snow to fall.

Jason Konigsberg

photo of Jason Konigsberg

Jason made the pilgrimage from the east coast to Steamboat Springs in 1999. Jason joined the ski patrol at Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah in 2005, and became part of the resort’s snow safety team. The need for more winter led Jason to spend summers in New Zealand as the snow safety officer at Craigieburn Valley ski area and the public forecaster for the Craigieburn Range. Now adjusting to life with only one winter per year, Jason spends his summers riding bikes, combing through avalanche and weather data, and avoiding climates where daytime high temperatures exceed 75 degrees.

Brandon Levy

photo of Bandon Levy

Brandon is originally from the Vail area and enjoys working and raising a family in the mountains of Colorado. Prior to joining the CAIC in 2017, Brandon worked as a highway avalanche forecaster for the Washington State Department of Transportation and as a ski patroller in Colorado, France, and New Zealand. He enjoys time outside with family and friends in the mountains and rivers of Colorado and the Western US.

Spencer Logan

photo of Spencer Logan

Spencer began skiing in northern Colorado and began learning about avalanches in northern Utah. He continued his avalanche education in southern Montana with an MS in Earth Sciences from Montana State University. He joined the CAIC in 2004. He has collaborated with colleagues from the CAIC, North America, and Europe to better understand trends and patterns in avalanche accidents and occurrences. His kids are the fourth generation of the family to ski and the fifth to fish in Colorado.

Andrew McWilliams

Andrew McWilliams

Andrew started his ski career in the snow splitting time between the hotbeds of Southwestern Connecticut and Fresno, California. He moved to Colorado after studying Geology; partially for the mountains, but mostly to live in every state that starts with a "C". He comes to the CAIC after spending 10 seasons as a ski patroller, most recently working as a Lead Avalanche Technician at Arapahoe Basin after shorter stints at Breckenridge and the Remarkables in Queenstown, New Zealand. Andrew joins the CAIC as a backcountry avalanche forecaster based in Summit County.

Colin Mitchell

photo of Colin Mitchell

Colin grew up in New England, and learned to ski in Vermont and upstate New York. In 1995, he moved to Colorado, and discovered powder skiing, big mountains, and climbing skins. After spending more than a decade working as a ski patroller, avalanche forecaster, ski guide, and avalanche educator, he joined the CAIC in 2014. Avalanche work has taken him to the Himalaya as Snow Safety Officer at Gulmarg Gondola and South America forecasting avalanches for the mining industry. During the Colorado summer, you can find him in Chile enjoying another ski season, and working on his Spanish.

Ben Pritchett

photo of Ben Pritchett

Ben joined the CAIC first as the education coordinator, and later as a forecaster. He spent 12 years as the program director at the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), and served as forecaster and later director at the Crested Butte Avalanche Center. The American Mountain Guide Association recognizes him as a certified ski guide. One of his favorite jobs spanned 18 seasons, forecasting for the Elk Mountains Grand Traverse ski race. Ben lives in Crested Butte where he backcountry skis, snowmobiles, hikes, and mountain bikes with his wife and two children.

Ron Simenhois

photo of Ron Simenhois

Ron has worked as a ski patroller and avalanche forecaster in Colorado, New Zealand, and Alaska. He has collaborated with scientists from the US and Europe on applied research projects. Ron’s work includes the development of the Extended Column Test and other avalanche forecasting tools. Ron enjoys spending time outside with his wife and two kids.

John Snook

photo of John Snook

John became interested in weather and snow growing up in New England anxiously awaiting the next nor’easter. He obtained an M.S. in meteorology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He moved to Colorado in 1984 and worked for fifteen years as a meteorologist for a NOAA applied research program. He completed a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. He ski patrolled at Arapahoe Basin. After forecasting for eight years at CAIC, he is now the Mountain Weather and Avalanche Specialist. His focus is providing computer-generated weather forecasts.

Jeremy Yanko

photo of Jeremy Yanko

Jeremy started on skis at Silver Creek, Colorado and progressed into fulfilling his middle school “career days” with the Winter Park Ski Patrol. After graduating from Fort Lewis College he worked as a Patroller and Guide at Silverton Mountain Ski Area, spending 15 seasons in an active avalanche program. He worked for five seasons in Alaska’s Chugach Mountains as a mechanized guide. He has been involved with EMS/SAR in Silverton for twelve years. He is grateful for adventures of all kinds.

Ryan Zarter

photo of Ryan Zarter

Ryan grew up in Kansas and moved to Colorado in 2000 to pursue his graduate studies in biology. After finishing school, he did what any sensible biologist would do and got a job as a ski patroller. He ended up spending over a decade working as a patroller at Eldora Mountain Resort, Arapahoe Basin, and a ski field in New Zealand. He has worked as an avalanche forecaster in Chile, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and on Snoqualmie and Chinook Passes in Washington. Ryan’s other interests include photography, getting lost in the woods, and drinking unhealthy amounts of coffee.