CAIC Staff

2023-24 Team Photo

Ethan Greene, Director

Ethan Greene

Ethan joined the CAIC as the Director in 2005. Ethan grew up in Boulder and learned to ski when he was three. He has worked with snow and avalanches since 1990. He worked as a ski patroller (Big Sky Ski Resort) and as a backcountry avalanche forecaster (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., CSU). In 2016, he received the Bernie Kingery Award and a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Utah. Ethan has published a variety of articles and has 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 & Central Mountains Regional Manager

Brian Lazar

Brian joined the CAIC as Deputy Director in 2010. 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, avalanche educator, curriculum developer, 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 Regional Manager


Mike “Coop” Cooperstein joined CAIC in 2015. Coop grew up in Maryland and learned to ski when he was ten. His snow career began as a ski patroller at Snowshoe in West Virginia when he was 18 years old. 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. In his free time, he likes to ride his bike, travel, read, learn new stuff, and play with his dog.

Jake Barney, Technical Product Manager

Jake Barney

Jake joined the CAIC in 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 to drop out of a geography Ph.D.  He is an avid recreational user of avalanche forecasts and a volunteer ski patroller at Loveland Ski Area. In the summer you'll find him trail jogging with his dog, backpacking with his wife, or planning his next bike tour.

Will Barrett, Central Mountains Highway Forecaster

Will Barrett

Will joined CAIC in 2021. Born and raised in Texas, Will’s ski career didn’t start until after he moved to Colorado and started ski patrolling at Breckenridge Ski Resort in 1989. He was instantly hooked on all things avalanche-related after going on his first avalanche mitigation route as a rookie ski patroller where he threw his first bomb and saw his first avalanche. This set in motion a decades-long career in snow science. 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, fly fishing, and just about everything else to do in the mountains. He and his family live in Buena Vista.

Kelsy Been, Public Information Officer

Kelsy Been

Kelsy joined CAIC in 2023. Kelsy grew up in Colorado and started skiing when she was six. Kelsy started backcountry skiing a decade ago when she lived in Wyoming — one of the two times she moved away from Colorado: first for her undergraduate degree at Amherst College and then again to get her MPA from the University of Wyoming. Kelsy has worked in communications for the public sector for over a decade, serving as a PIO since 2016. When not working, she volunteers for West Elk Mountain Rescue and enjoys running, hiking, and generally being outside. Kelsy lives in Marble with her husband and supermutt.

Krista Beyer, Southern Mountains Backcountry Forecaster

Krista Beyer

Krista joined CAIC in 2023. She started skiing with her parents in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. Upon graduating college with a civil engineering degree, she pursued colder snow and maximum ski time in the Wasatch. Eventually, her pursuits led further east to the San Juan Mountains where she fell in love with the complexity of both the snowpack and its contentious runoff. Before joining CAIC, she worked as a guide and ski patroller at Silverton Mountain for six seasons. During the summers, she has chased the runoff working as an engineer, hydrologic technician, and raft guide in neighboring tributaries of the Colorado River. While not working, Krista enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends, cooking, painting, reading, and playing cribbage.

Dylan Craaybeek, Central Mountains Backcountry Forecaster

Dylan Craaybeek

Dylan joined CAIC in 2021. Dylan grew up in New England. His parents had him on skis before he could properly walk, and he spent every winter weekend skiing at his family cabin in Maine near Mount Washington. Upon graduating high school, he moved to Colorado and found his true love for the mountains. Dylan graduated from the Colorado Mountain College Avalanche Science Program and has since been teaching avalanche courses, guiding on skis and splitboards, researching snow hydrology, and spending southern hemispheric winters Highway Avalanche forecasting in New Zealand. Dylan lives in Redstone. When he is not playing in the snow, you are likely to find Dylan out rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running, slacklining, and reading.

Jeff Davis, Southern Mountains Backcountry Forecaster

Jeff Davis

Jeff joined CAIC in 2015 with a one-year hiatus during the 2022-23 season to guide for Telluride Helitrax. Jeff has forecasted for both the highway and backcountry program. He grew up in Ohio and moved to Colorado in 2007 to ski patrol at Copper Mountain. Jeff has been a snowboarder, Telemark skier, and Alpine skier and is now working on his snowmobile skills. He has always loved to ski and study snow. The San Juan Mountains are his favorite place to do both. Jeff and his 13-year-old Lab, Abe, split their time between Silverton and Sawpit. Like many good skiers, Abe has had two knee surgeries but still loves ripping Shrine laps in Silverton on snow days.  

Austin Divesta, Northern Mountains Backcountry Forecaster

Austin Divesta

Austin joined CAIC in 2022. Born and raised in Colorado, Austin fell in love with skiing the mountains at a very young age thanks to his father who encouraged him to take an unconventional career path. He pursued a degree in Outdoor Recreation at Western State College in Gunnison. 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 in New Zealand working in snow safety. When not working, Austin likes to trail run, bike, climb, and hang out with his dog. Austin is based in Fraser. 

Ian Fowler, Northern Mountains Backcountry Forecaster

Ian Fowler

Ian joined CAIC in 2021. He grew up in the avalanche and ski mecca of England where a deep snowpack was 6" and the ski club would park an old tractor on the hillside to create a rope tow. 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. Ian moved to Colorado in 2008 and started patrolling at Eldora. He lives in Louisville with his wife and two daughters.

Drew Gibson, Central Mountains Backcountry Forecaster

Drew Gibson

Drew joined CAIC in 2022. He 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 is based out of Frisco, CO.

Matt Huber, Southern Mountains Highway Forecaster

Matt Huber

Matt joined CAIC in 2018. Matt grew up in Kansas City and learned to ski when he was five. He moved to Colorado in 1993. He 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 to Idaho. He returned to Colorado and joined 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, Northern Mtns Senior Backcountry Forecaster

 Jason Konigsberg

Jason joined CAIC in 2015. 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 70 degrees.

Brandon Levy, Central Mountains Highway Forecaster

Brandon Levy

Brandon joined the CAIC in 2017. He grew up skiing and playing hockey in the Vail area.  He studied Geology and English at Bowdoin College in Maine and got his formal avalanche education in Canada. Brandon started his snow career ski patrolling at Beaver Creek in 2004 and eventually ski patrolled in France and New Zealand. He worked as a highway avalanche forecaster for the Washington State Department of Transportation where he occasionally shot an Abrams Tank for avalanche mitigation--usually in the rain. Brandon enjoys living in the Colorado mountains, touring for some "Dad-Wiggles" in backcountry meadows, skiing, and river time with his family.

Spencer Logan, Science and Operations Officer

Spencer Logan

Spencer joined CAIC in 2004 and has held various roles over his long tenure. Spencer was born and raised in Colorado. He 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. Spencer’s forecasting career started in 1999 with the Bear River Avalanche Information Center in Utah. He has collaborated with colleagues from the CAIC, North America, and Europe to 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. You can often find Spencer floating on rivers in the summertime.

Troy Nordquist, Southern Mountains Highway Forecaster

Troy Nordquist

Troy joined CAIC in 2022. Troy was born and raised in Colorado and started skiing when he was two in his family’s backyard in Conifer and at Geneva Basin Ski Area. He started working in snow as a Ski Patroller at Alta in 1998 after graduating from the University of Utah. Prior to joining CAIC, Troy was the Patrol Director at Silverton Mountain and a heli guide. He worked there for 14 seasons and also forecasted and did avalanche mitigation for Ouray Silver Mines in the San Juan Mountains. When not working, Troy enjoys exploring Southern Colorado with his blue heeler, Kodiak, and on his motorcycle with friends.

Andrew McWilliams, Backcountry Forecaster

Andrew McWilliams

Andrew joined the CAIC in 2022. Originally from Connecticut, he moved to Colorado in 2007 after obtaining a Bachelor’s of Science in Geology from Juniata College in Pennsylvania. He comes to the CAIC after spending 10 seasons as a ski patroller at Breckenridge, the Remarkables in New Zealand, and most recently as a Lead Avalanche Technician at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. Andrew lives in Summit County where he wishes it would snow more but that summers would last longer. When not working, Andrew enjoys spending time with his family, riding his mountain bike, and using chairlifts to go skiing.

Colin Mitchell, Southern Mountains Highway Forecaster

Colin Mitchell

Colin joined CAIC in 2014. He grew up in New England and has been skiing all his life. 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 Himalayas as a 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. When not working, Colin loves to ski, be in the mountains, and ride bikes.

Julie Pomerantz, Program Assistant

Julie Pomerantz

Julie joined CAIC in 2022. Born and raised in Colorado, she grew up on skis. Julie spent over 20 years ski patrolling at Breckenridge--10 of which she served as the Ski Patrol Training Supervisor. She then switched gears for several years becoming the Program Director for CDA, an adaptive recreation nonprofit based in the Western Slope of Colorado. Ultimately her love of snow science and avalanche work brought her back to CAIC. Julie lives in Crested Butte and enjoys spending time biking, skiing, rafting, and simply enjoying the mountains. Her dream is to live on a sailboat someday!

Ben Pritchett, Central Mountains Senior Backcountry Forecaster

Ben Pritchett

Ben joined CAIC as an education coordinator from 2006-2012 and rejoined as a forecaster in 2018. Ben moved to Colorado in 1992. He got into avalanche safety after being caught and buried by an avalanche as a teenager and losing friends in avalanches. 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. 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, Northern Mtns Highway Forecaster & Data Scientist

 Ron Simenhois

Ron joined CAIC in 2016. Ron was born in Israel where sliding in a plastic bag down snow-covered hillsides piqued his interest in both hills and snow. He eventually moved to Colorado to explore more snowy mountains and more sophisticated sliding equipment. Ron has worked as a ski patroller and avalanche forecaster in Colorado, New Zealand, and Alaska. Ron’s tendency to ask many questions has led him to collaborate with North American and European scientists 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, Numerical Prediction Specialist

John Snook

John joined CAIC in 2006. He 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, Southern Mountain Highway Forecaster

Jeremy Yanko

Jeremy joined CAIC in 2021. 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 years there and also worked five seasons in Alaska’s Chugach Mountains as a mechanized guide. He was actively involved with EMS/SAR and other community efforts in his nearly 20 years in Silverton. He is grateful for adventures of all kinds.

Ryan Zarter, Northern Mountains Highway Forecaster

Ryan Zarter

Ryan joined CAIC in 2017. Ryan grew up in Kansas and started skiing as a kid. He 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 spent 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. He lives in Leadville where he enjoys skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and spending time with family.