Avalanche Dogs

Team: 84

School: Taos High

Area of Science: Biology

Interim: Liam Davis
Eric Hernandez
Grace Goler
Supercomputing Challenge
Avalanche Dogs
What is an Avalanche Dog?

An Avalanche Dog is a Dog that has been trained to find humans who have been buried in an avalanche. The history of Avalanche Dogs goes back to the 1800s, Swiss monks would travel through the Alps of Switzerland and Germany to their different Monasteries(a building or buildings occupied by a community of monks living under religious vows), often times a St. Bernard would lead the way.

How do Dogs find people after an Avalanche?

They find people buried up to 15 feet in snow! This is incredible. They do it by smelling the Carbon-Dioxide that we emit. We propose our program will show how they smell person based on how much carbon they emit, and the avalanche-dog procedure. Avalanche Dogs train in Ski Areas across the country to work with human counterparts to respond to the Avalanche. Avalanche Dogs have been used to save skiers since the 1970s. Rescuers also use dogs to help find missing people from earthquakes. The scent that the Avalanche dogs track the most are still being researched,as we’ve said before, it may be the Carbon Dioxide us humans emit, but it could also be a form of skin rafts, (scent-carrying skin cells that drop off living humans at a rate of about 40,000 cells per minute), it could also be evaporated perspiration, respiratory gases, or decomposition gases released by bacterial action on human skin or tissues. A well trained Avalanche Dog can also sense terrain disturbances in the group using their noses, while putting the nose against the ground, they should be able to sense if there is a spot were a human could have stepped(footprint) and follow it to were the in particular human may be trapped or injured. According to the Marbach Road Animal Hospital, Dogs can pick up scents that are diluted to 1 or 2 parts per trillion. This is partially because there is 60 times more olfactory cells than humans. This gives them a distinct advantage, and lets the see farther, even with their terrible sight. But this would be nothing without the other evolutionary advantages that give them their scent. Their brains have special places for certain scents, that allow them to distinguish a human in the snow from the whole world around them. The last, and possibly most interesting part of their scent system is their nose. This is made special by the upside-down raindrop shape, where the shape allows the outgoing air to go out the bottom, and this pulls more air in. In addition, they had different passages for breathing and smelling. This makes it so that they can be more sensitive and only smell when necasary. This makes it so that their scent glands will not be

Team Members:

  Liam Davis
  Eric Hernandez
  gracie goler

Sponsoring Teacher:

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