NSAW today started out with an interesting presentation by Dr. Jordy Hendrikx of MSU. I'm still not sure how exactly he'll apply what he learns from his research, but the approach is clever. IMO any research into decision making in avalanche terrain is good.
The research team is looking at geographic decisions people make about terrain selection in various avalanche situations, along with demographics about the participating skiers/boarders. He's using mobile apps to crowdsource the data for this experiment. Participants submit GPS tracks of their trips and answer surveys after returning.
He gave several examples of what his team is already learning about how expert versus intermediate skiers/boarders make route decisions. For example, when avy danger is rated toward the higher end of the scale, experts still tend to ski as-steep slopes but choose aspects differently.
Obviously it's not for everyone, but Hendrikx is looking for more participants to sign up for his research, especially from WA. He suggested he might offer participants individualized assessments of their decision making relative to others in their statistical groups.