Photo by Doug Krause

AAA Ethics

Members of the American Avalanche Association acknowledge their responsibilities to the organization and their profession and subscribe to this code of ethics to guide them in their practices as avalanche professionals and shall:

  1. Hold above all the public trust and reputation of their profession, perform services only in the areas of their competence and strive to enhance their qualifications through continuing education, professional and technical development,
  2. Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner and endeavor to extend public knowledge to promote understandings of the achievements of avalanche sciences;
  3. Act in professional matters for each client or employer as faithful agents or trustees and avoid conflict of interest;
  4. Build their professional reputations on the merit of their services and not compete unfairly with others; and
  5. Conduct their practices in accordance with this code and bring to the attention of the association unethical practices of any Member.


The American Avalanche Association name has been registered with a service mark, (similar to a trademark). We announced during the annual 2006 meeting at ISSW how members may represent their affiliation in resumes and in any advertising. This information is listed below.

Individuals may use the AAA logo and name in the manner listed. Each use must clearly represent an individual or individuals, not an entire business or school. Avalanche Schools may list individual classes as being taught by AAA Certified Instructors or advertise adhering to Level 1 and 2 AAA Guidelines. The name or logo cannot be used on its own without a qualifier such as professional member or member affiliate. The logo without a qualifier is exclusively for use by AAA for AAA applications only.

Pro Members: Professional Member AAA
Member Affiliate: Member of AAA
Certified Instructor: Certified Instructor AAA

All Members: Please register your use with the Executive Director at and he will send you the jpeg files in high resolution.

Exceptions will be considered by the Governing Board on a case-by-case basis.

AAA Awards

For further information about the awards and procedures, click here. Contact the Awards Chair directly with any questions:

In order to recognize and encourage outstanding service and contribution to our mission, the AAA has established an awards program. Awards criteria and past recipients are detailed below.


This is the highest award bestowed by the American Avalanche Association. It is given annually or less frequently, to a person who has distinguished themselves by special achievement in the field of snow avalanches.

The purpose of this award is to bring honor to the awardees, to provide inspiration to the membership, and to emphasize the programs to which the Association is dedicated. The number of awards will be restricted so as not to include more than 20 living individuals at any one time.

Candidates need not be an AAA member though membership is customary.

  • 2014 - Ron Perla
  • 2012 - Jill Fredston
  • 2010 - Mark B. Moore
  • 2009 - Dan Judd and Daniel "Howie" Howlett
  • 2008 - Don Bachman and Knox Williams
  • 2006 - Art Judson
  • 2004 - Rod Newcomb
  • 2002 - Doug Fessler
  • 2000 - Sam Colbeck and Bob Brown
  • 1998 - Sue Ferguson (Deceased)
  • 1996 - Peter Schaerer
  • 1995 - John Montagne (Deceased)
  • 1992 - Dick Reuter
  • 1991 - Dale Gallagher (Deceased)
  • 1990 - Norm Wilson (Deceased)
  • 1989 - Ed LaChapelle (Deceased)
  • 1987 - Monty Atwater (Posthumously), John Herbert (Posthumously) and Pete Martinelli

Recognizes sustained career contributions by dedicated avalanche field professionals. Candidates are primarily engaged in avalanche forecasting, mitigation, research or education and safety.

This award is in honor of John Bernier Kingery's long career of ski patrol and snow safety work. Kingery became the Mountain Manager of Alpine Meadows Ski Area and was killed there in 1982 in the most deadly avalanche in North American ski area history.

This award is open only to AAA Professional Members.

  • 2013 - Craig "Sterbie" Sterbenz
  • 2012 - Gary Murphy
  • 2011 - Leif Eric Boregson and Tom Murphy
  • 2010 - Russell "Rusty" Johnson and David W. Lovejoy
  • 2008 - Karl Birkeland
  • 2006 - Randy Elliott
  • 2004 - Bruce Tremper
  • 2002 - Tom Kimbrough
  • 2000 - Don Bachman
  • 1998 - Liam Fitzgerald
  • 1997 - Jim Hackett (Posthumously) and Binx Sandahl (Deceased)
  • 1996 - Larry Heywood
  • 1994 - Rod Newcomb
  • 1992 - Bernie Kingery (Posthumously)

The honorees are recognized by their peers in the AAA for significant contribution to avalanche-related programs in countries other than the United States and, in general, for communicating their work to those in the U.S. so that those contributions may be shared for common benefit.

Membership in the AAA is not a prerequisite to candidacy for this award.

  • 2014 - Bruce Jamieson
  • 2008 - Christine Pielmeier
  • 2006 - Juerg Schweizer
  • 2004 - Paul Foehn
  • 2002 - Horst SchaffhauserKayou Fukuyama
  • 2000 - (No award given)
  • 1998 - Kartsein Lied
  • 1996 - Paval A. Chernouss
  • 1994 - Tsutomu "Tom" NakamuraDavid McClung
  • 1992 - Hansueli Gubler
  • 1990 - Andre Roch (Deceased), Peter SchaererRon Perla, Hans Frutiger, Walter Good and Geoff Freer

Recognizes specific and outstanding achievement in the service of North American snow avalanche activity. Generally the Governing Board will initiate the nomination and approval process.

It is not necessary that the recipient be a member of AAA, but that has generally been the case.

  • 2010 - Billy Barr
  • 2008 - Chris Landry
  • 2007 - Jerry Nunn (Deceased)
  • 2006 - Pete Peters and Don Sharaf
  • 2004 - John Simms and Ethan Greene
  • 2002 - (no award given)
  • 2000 - Steve Conger
  • 1998 - Alan Dennis
  • 1997 - Bruce Jamieson
  • 1996 - Liam Fitzgerald
  • 1994 - Betsy Armstrong and Robin Faisant
  • 1993 - Bruce Tremper and Knox Williams
  • 1992 - Stan Bones
  • 1990 - Sue Ferguson (Deceased), John Montagne (Deceased), Bruce Tremper, Larry Heywood, Greg Mace (Posthumously) and Chris Stethem

AAA Memorial List

In the fall of 2007, the board of directors of the American Avalanche Association approved the creation of a Memorial List, to honor and remember those individuals that where killed while engaged in avalanche and snow safety related work. As of October 2013, there are fifty six individuals listed on the American Avalanche Association’s Memorial list. These individuals represent a complete cross section of “snow and avalanche workers.”