Does anyone know if any of the big resorts around the world employ full-time environmental managers? I've trawled the net and cant find much evidence of such positions.
Excellent question Dr_Cucumber!
Last year, the area where I teach lost 1/4 of the top of their steepest slope to a sink hole at the top of the hill. The owner had to drop over a million in fixing it. In past years, they've let tree trimmers dump all of their wood chips over the back side of the hill for erosion management, but after a few torrential rains last spring, they found out the hard way that wasn't the way to go!
You'll find they're usually on the 2nd or 3rd tier of resort management boards where resorts operate on public land and lease the hill to a private operator. You'll also find them working for the private lift company eg on issues like Masterplans, water runoff into lakes like Tahoe, recycling water or sewerage into snowmaking, summer grooming, indigenous archeaoligal work when building sites are excavated, drainage, heating paths, animal management matters and heaps of similar things. Enjoy your job hunting around the globe.
Yes, I realise the words environmental management and skiing are not often used in the same sentence. Don't get me wrong; I am by no means a left wing greeny trying to get a rise out of you. I am just looking for a way to combine my love of the mountains with my current occupation: environmental consultant (granted, a difficult task given most of my experience is in marine/aquatic ecology).
That said, I do know of ski hills in the USA that were taken to court by a freshwater recreational fishing body. The fisherman claimed the ski resort has reduced water levels in the local streams by removing water for snow making purposes. Environmental flows of streams are an important environmental issue in Australia, and it seems, other parts of the world as well. You cant turn over of sod of soil in Australia without a 100 page Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study/report. In fact, some developments stall as a result of the 'green' tape hurdle.
There are also a 'swag' of issues affecting resorts like:
Displacement of local wildlife;
snow making draw-down on streams
Removal of vegetation for new ski lifts/trails
I'd imagine consultants do much of the work, but I wondered whether any of the larger resorts employ full-time staff. As consultants are very expensive, it may be better to undertake the EIA in-house - a much cheaper option provided the staff member knows what they are doing.
Hmm... interesting... this is my wife's field. I'll have to start poking around for opportunities.
"Okay, honey, we can move to Aspen for the sake of your career, but just remember I'm doing this for you." ;-)
Some places do, I know Copper had one, but I think the position may have been eliminated. At Moonlight Basin we have several positions closely related to it, but no one person who only does that as their only job.
VERY difficult to get one of those jobs at a resort in the US - they're few and far between and the position is often filled internally.