The Role Of An Observatory Leader

2014-01-18 23:09:00.000 – Will Broussard,  Outreach Coordinator

Each winter, Mount Washington Observatory leads several overnight EduTrips to the summit of Mount Washington. With topics ranging from mountaineering essentials to weather basics, every trip has a theme and is led by an experienced educator in the field. As Outreach Coordinator for the Obsevatory, it is one of my primary responsibilities to accompany these winter trips to the summit as the “Observatory Leader.”

In this position, I serve as the link between the trip participants and the weather observers and volunteers living and working at the Mount Washington Observatory. While it is the educator’s major responsibility to plan and deliver programs during these trips, the Observatory Leader works with the snow tractor operator, summit staff and volunteers to coordinate the timing of essential activities throughout the two-day visit.

Activities such as arrival and departure, mealtimes, facility safety, and Observatory tours are planned ahead of time, with weather dependent back-up plans in place as well. It is very important to us that our educators and trip participants be given both a safe and memorable experience atop Mount Washington. This may mean delaying our departure from the base, extending our stay at the summit, or simply changing the schedule altogether in the middle of a program if the weather is looking good now but due to turn later in the day.

Flexibility is the name of the game at the summit of Mount Washington, where weather conditions can change without notice, day or night. Our Winter Overnight EduTrips program embraces this ethic, and our educators and trip participants are well prepared. It is all just part of the adventure that is being at the summit of Mount Washington in wintertime.


Will Broussard,  Outreach Coordinator

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