Collaboration Surrounding Beacon Use During Companion Avalanche Rescues

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

Desjardins, Audrey; Neustaedter, Carman; Greenberg, Saul, & Wakkary, Ron. (2014). Collaboration Surrounding Beacon Use During Companion Avalanche Rescues, Proc CSCW 2014, New York, ACM Press, 877-887.

Date created: 
2014
Keywords: 
Avalanche
Backcountry
Snowboard
Transceiver
Beacon
Ski
Collaboration
Communication
Distributed cognition
Abstract: 

When facing an avalanche, backcountry skiers need to work effectively both individually and as a group to rescue buried victims. If they don’t, death is likely. One of the tools used by each person is a digital beacon that transmits an electromagnetic signal. If buried, others use their beacons to locate victims by searching for their signals, and then dig them out. This study focuses on the collaborative practices of avalanche rescue and the interactions with beacons while backcountry skiing. We conducted interviews with backcountry recreationists and experts, and we observed avalanche rescue practice scenarios. Our results highlight aspects and challenges of mental representation, trust, distributed cognition, and practice. Implications include three considerations for the redesign of beacons: simplicity, visibility and practice.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the authors.
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