Articles | Volume 22, issue 6
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-22-1973-2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-22-1973-2022
Research article
 | 
14 Jun 2022
Research article |  | 14 Jun 2022

Travel and terrain advice statements in public avalanche bulletins: a quantitative analysis of who uses this information, what makes it useful, and how it can be improved for users

Kathryn C. Fisher, Pascal Haegeli, and Patrick Mair

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Cited articles

Avalanche Canada: Avalanche Canada 2019 Annual Report, https://issuu.com/avalancheca/docs/ac_2019_annual_reportissuu (last access: 9 June 2022), 2019. 
Birkeland, K. W., Greene, E. M., and Logan, S.: In Response to Avalanche Fatalities in the United States by Jekich et al., Wild Environ. Med., 28, 380–382, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wem.2017.06.009, 2017. 
Bullock, O. M., Amill, D. C., Shulman, H. C., and Dixon, G. N.: Jargon as a barrier to effective science communication: Evidence from metacognition, Pub. Underst. Sci., 28, 845–853, https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662519865687, 2019. 
CAA – Canadian Avalanche Association: Technical Aspects of Snow Avalanche Risk Management-Resources and Guidelines for Avalanche Practitioners in Canada, edited by: Campbell, C., Conger, S., Gould, B., Haegeli, P., Jamieson, B., and Statham, G., Canadian Avalanche Association, Revelstoke, BC, Canada, ISBN 978-1-926497-00-6, https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.avalancheassociation.ca/resource/resmgr/standards_docs/tasarm_english.pdf (last access: 9 June 2022), 2016. 
CAIC – Colorado Avalanche Information Center: National Avalanche Accident Dataset, https://avalanche.state.co.us/accidents/statistics-and-reporting/ (last access: 9 June 2022), 2020. 
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Short summary
Avalanche bulletins include travel and terrain statements to provide recreationists with tangible guidance about how to apply the hazard information. We examined which bulletin users pay attention to these statements, what determines their usefulness, and how they could be improved. Our study shows that reducing jargon and adding simple explanations can significantly improve the usefulness of the statements for users with lower levels of avalanche awareness education who depend on this advice.
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