Rod Newcomb is the founder of the American Avalanche Institute. Rod founded AAI the winter of 1974/75. He is a former forecaster at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and an avalanche researcher in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Rod has been a backcountry skier since 1961. Rod has taught avalanche courses all over the country, to thousands of recreationists and professionals alike. He was the recipient of Honorary Membership by the American Avalanche Association, the highest honor given to avalanche researchers and practitioners in 2004. More recently, he was the recipient of the AMERICAN MOUNTAIN GUIDES ASSOCIATION LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN GUIDING AWARD.