Dr. Charles Fierz
I am interested in all facets of snow, from its formation in the atmosphere to its deposition on the ground or ice. In particular I am fascinated by the material snow, that is its microstructure and physical properties. For quite a long time I was involved in the development, verification, and comparison of the snow-cover model SNOWPACK. Model output as well as manually recorded snow profiles (CAAML) can be visualized with niViz, a tool I initiated a few years back.
Snow - atmosphere interactions, including energy and mass balance, avalanche formation, wet snow, and instrumentation for snow research are other fields of interest. Currently I am evaluating new measurement methods for all kinds of snow and snow-cover properties, for example the water equivalent of snow cover, and putting together a unique data set collected on the study plot Weissfluhjoch over the last 30 years.
I enjoy collaborative work in the framework of international projects and organisations. Since 2007 I am serving the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences IACS in various positions. Also, since 2011, I participate in the development of Global Cryosphere Watch GCW, the crosscutting activity area of WMO addressing the needs of its Members and their scientific partners on the state of the cryosphere as a key component of Earth system. As an external expert I deal with best practices for cryospheric measurements, terminology, data management, and editing.
Team Leader, WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Research Unit Snow and Permafrost, Team Winter sports and climate, Davos, Switzerland
2012 - 2018
Team Leader, WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Research Unit Snow and Permafrost, Team Snow cover and micro-meteorology, Davos, Switzerland
Visiting Research Scientist with the Applied Snow and Avalanche Research group ASARC at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada (short visit, two months)
1992 - 2011
Research Scientist, WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Research Unit Snow and Permafrost, Team Snow cover and micrometeorology, Davos, Switzerland
1990 - 1992
Research Scientist, Kistler Instrumente AG, Winterthur, Switzerland
1988 - 1990
Visiting Research Associate, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
Visiting Research Associate, Centre de Recherche sur les Très Basses Températures, CNRS-CRTBT, Grenoble, France (two months)
1983 - 1988
Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Condensed Matter Physics, University of Geneva, Switzerland
PhD in Condensed Matter Physics, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
Diploma in Physics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland