Woman scientist taking samples of pink snow with mountain in the background

Wednesday, February 8, 2023
5:00 p.m. PT Reception (21+)
7:00 p.m. PT Lecture (all ages)

Downtown Hood River, Oregon

Reception (21+)
At 64 Oz. Taphouse

208 Oak Street
Hood River, OR 97031

Lecture (all ages)
At Columbia Center for the Arts
215 Cascade Avenue
Hood River, OR  97031

Reception & Lecture (21+)
$5 per person

Includes first drink, heavy appetizers, special sticker, and lecture

Lecture Only (all ages)
$5 per person

Includes special sticker and lecture


Check out this video to watch the Living Snow Mysterious Pink Snow and the Future of Our Alpine Ecosystems.

Mysterious Pink Snow and the Future of Our Alpine Ecosystems

Brought to you by:
The Mount Adams Institute and the Columbia Center for the Arts in partnership with the WWU Alumni Association

Have you seen Pink Snow? In the spring and summer, melting snowpack may turn pink, this phenomenon is caused by a diverse community of microbes (algae, bacteria, and fungi) specifically adapted to live in the snow. These snow algae blooms are completely natural, but what triggers them is not yet well understood. What is known, is that these algae blooms can have a dramatic effect on snowmelt dynamics. So what can Pink Snow tell us about the future of our alpine ecosystems and why do these blooms occur? No historical records exist for blooms of algae on any mountain range, but Robin Kodner, along with the Living Snow Project’s unique team of backcountry enthusiasts, are out to change that by heading high into the mountains to study this natural phenomenon and discover the real story behind Pink Snow.

Mount Adams Institute Sense of Place (SOP) Lecture Series features presenters with a unique knowledge of the Columbia River Gorge and who consider the natural, cultural, and political history that has shaped this place. The presenters can include scientists, tribal members, authors, farmers, and many others from throughout the Pacific Northwest. The information and stories shared at these talks deepen our understanding of the Gorge and strengthen our connection to the landscape and to each other.

Space for the in-person event is limited! Register now!

Can't attend in-person? Livestream the event on YouTube.

Portrait of speaker Robin Kodner

Robin Kodner


Robin Kodner is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Western Washington University. Robin landed at WWU in 2012 after earning her Ph.D. at Harvard University and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington. She has always studied algae and their interactions with their environment. Robin has focused her research on field-based studies of algae communities that produce consequential blooms. She uses environmental-based DNA to study algal biodiversity, community structure, and evolution over time scales from geologic to seasonal. Currently, her lab works on the snow microbiome from the Pacific Northwest as a model to study how microbial communities evolve in response to climate-driven environmental change. She also maintains ongoing research on the microbial communities in Bellingham Bay and their response to changing ocean conditions. She founded and directs The Living Snow Project in 2017 to enable collection of large-scale datasets of pink snow and engage the community in her research. Robin has also been an outdoor educator, in the mountains and on sailboats, using these environments as platforms for teaching basic sciences.

Red water bottle with moutainscape sticker

Special Treat for Attendees

We have a special bonus for each of our registrants: a beautiful mountainscape sticker for your water bottle from Hydrascape Infinity Stickers!

Questions, Accommodations, and Parking

Contact the WWU Alumni Association for this event. Feel free to call at (360) 650-3353 or email at if you have any questions or comments.

Advance notice for disability accommodations and special needs is greatly appreciated. Please indicate your special needs on the registration form.

The 64 oz. Taphouse is located at 208 Oak Street in downtown Hood River, between 2nd and 3rd streets. Park on 3rd street. Following the reception, walk a short distance to the Columbia Center for the Arts. Street parking is free after 3PM on the day of the event.