Jesse Ritner

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, University of Texas, Austin

2021 to 2022
Research Fellow

'White Gold': Weather, Technology, and the Rise of the North American Ski Industry, 1900-Present

"White Gold" argues that without the development of hydrological sciences and technologies related to the creation and management of snow, the North American ski industry would not have grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. My project uses scientific studies, trade journals, academic and publicly facing periodicals, and oral histories to trace the relationship between private and public engagements with these sciences and technologies. In the process, it links these developments to economic growth, alpine population expansion, and racial conflicts over environment. In the process, “’White Gold’” speaks to the ways public and private interests have come together to adapt to unreliable and warming climates, as well as the positive and negative ramifications of their success.