2019 JUNEAU Icefield Expedition

Climate change is evident in the rapid melting and wasting of glacier regions in the Arctic and non-Arctic icefields across the globe. These changes and glacier melt are one of the most obvious signs of current trends but are poorly understood due to the difficulty of reaching many of these areas. Additional challenges exist along while conducting remote long-term research. The 2019 USX Icefield Expedition will conduct an initial data collection to determine the viability for long-term snow water equivalent (SWE) derived from glacier mass-balance techniques. This is a citizen science approach where our veteran team will traverse over 65 miles across the Juneau Icefield in Southeast Alaska to conduct early season snowpack analysis. This data collection will allow for future sampling and collection at the end of the season, with the goal to establish a long-term study on this portion of the Juneau Icefield.

Meet the Expedition Leaders:



Bill Dean is the USX Alaska Icefield Expedition Leader and owner of Summit Alaska Expeditions, an Alaska wilderness guiding and experiential learning company. Bill is a fourth generation Alaskan and experienced climber and skier with multiple alpine and ice climbing first ascents, and multiple decades of trips on the Juneau Icefield. He is also a multi-sport endurance athlete who raced internationally for Team Salomon, winning the US National Adventure Racing Championship and finishing the New Zealand Eco-Challenge. He is a Wilderness First Responder, Avalanche Level II Certified, and a ski patroller at Eaglecrest Ski area.

As a veteran, Bill served in leadership positions for the majority of his twenty-plus years of service, largely within the joint special operations community. He is passionate about personal and organizational development, with unique experience in assessment, selection, training, and professional development. Bill delivered historic success during years of high-risk training and combat operational employment, leading and creating a team-of-teams approach to hundreds of sensitive, national-level special operations missions.

UPDATE: Shortly after our USX Juneau Icefield Expedition, Bill was leading a separate expedition with his own company to the summit of Mt. Rainier when he lost his life in a tragic rock fall. You can read our full statement here.



Jamie Pierce is a professional mountain and ski guide with over 30 years personal climbing experience and 23 years guiding experience. Jamie has led foreign and domestic expeditions in Antarctica, South America, North America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia, Latin America, South Pacific to name a few. Whether leading scientists traversing Trans-Antarctic Mountains to big-walls in Yosemite or winter ascents of the Diamond on Longs Peak, Jamie has deep climbing and guiding experience. Jamie climbed and guided for 14 years before undergoing formal training with the American Mountain Guides Association where he earned the coveted IFMGA professional membership into the International Federation Mountain Guides Association. This earned him his IFMGA Carnet as a licensed mountain guide through the United States with the American Mountain Guides Association disciplines which includes Alpine, Rock and Ski-Mountaineering certifications and becoming one of less than 200 to do so in the United States.

Jamie continues to remain active in the mountains while refocusing his career path to research in physical earth processes including snow-science, glaciology and principally hydrology, blending his previous experiences with his current work as a hydrologist for the United States Geological Survey Water Resources Division, part-time avalanche forecaster and consultant for Aurora Geo-Sciences. Jamie spends most free time with his family where they make regular trips to the mountains camping, ski-touring, trail-running, and hiking.