“The risks we take, and the lives we make – effects of positional preferences and bounded rationality on risk-taking behavior” is a 4-year research project funded by the Norwegian Research Council (RCN: 262626). The project has been given the nickname “White Heat Project”.  The project is collaboration between a group of researchers in UiT The Arctic University of Norway, in Tromsø, Montana State University, in Bozeman, USA, and Umeå University, in Umeå, Sweden. The home of the project is at the Centre for Avalanche Research and Education (CARE) at UiT. Our international research team consists of researchers in economics, psychology, geography, snow science and political science.

The main aim of the White Heat Project is to analyze motivating factors behind risk-taking in avalanche terrain, with a special focus on social factors.



Andrea Mannberg is the project leader of the White Heat project. Mannberg works as an Associate Professor at UiT. Mannberg is an economist by profession and a backcountry skier by heart. Her main research interest is risk-taking behavior in general and situations in which individuals do not behave as Homo Economicus in particular.


Jordy Hendrikx is Associate Professor at the department of earth sciences, Montana State University. Hendrikx is the director of the Snow and Avalanche Lab (www.montana.edu/snowscience) and leader of the project “Understanding Behavior in Avalanche Terrain: A Crowd Source Approach“.


Jerry D. Johnson is Professor in Political Science at Montana State University. Jerry is specialized in research on decision making and risk, Political Economy of Public Lands, and National Park Management. Jerry and Jordy is jointly responsible for the project on how geographical footprints made by skiers, and snowmobilers can give us information on decision making in avalanche terrain (“Understanding Behavior in Avalanche Terrain: A Crowd Source Approach“).


Audun Hetland holds a PhD in psycholgy and is the Director of the science program at the Avalanche Science Center at UiT. Hetland’s reserach is focused on emotions and high-risk sports.


Tomas Sjögren is a Professor in Economics at Umeå University. Sjögren’s research is focused on market failures, social interaction and dynamic optimization.

Markus Landrø_foto Sindre Thoresen Lønnes_03

Markus Landrø is one of the most knowledgeable avalanche experts in Norway. He works as chief engineer at the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, and is head of the avalanche observers in Norway. Markus is pursuing a PhD at the avalanche center (CARE) at UiT the Arctic University of Norway.


Ingvild Mageli is the newest member to the team. She will start her PhD education at the School of business and Economics at UiT the Arctic University of Norway in January, 2018. Ingvild wrote her Master’s thesis on the pursuit of happiness, and will write her PhD thesis within the White Heat project.