SnowBrains Podcast #31 | Dr. Russ Costa PhD – Why People Do Dumb Shit in the Mountains!!

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Dr. Russ Costa podcast.

Brought to you by Grand Targhee Resort

My guest today is Dr. Russ Costa:

  • Dr. Russ Costa is a cognitive scientist, skier, and mountaineer who studies why people do dumb shit in the mountains!
  • He’s an expert on human attention and performance, he is interested in how distracted, fatigued, or otherwise impaired minds and brains perceive the world, particularly in high-risk, high-consequence environments – especially in the mountains and in avalanche terrain
  • Russ loves to chat about decision-making in avalanche terrain, in the mountains in general, and at high altitudes.
  • Russ’ research work utilizes a broad range of methodologies, from electroencephalography (EEG) to applied behavioral analysis in the natural environment.
  • After two decades of conducting primarily laboratory-based theoretical work on cognition, Russ has moved parts of his research program outside, studying cognition and neuroscience in the mountains.
  • His current work examines how hypobaric hypoxia at high altitude affects human attention, decision-making, and error.
  • Russ currently teaches a broad slate of courses in the Honors College and in the Neuroscience and Psychology programs at Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

Please enjoy!


This episode is brought to you by Grand Targhee Resort.

Home to the best snow in Wyoming. Delivering an average of 500 inches of snow annually, you’ll find uncrowded slopes, and a unique Targhee vibe served on the daily.

With good times served daily at Grand Targhee Resort, it’s time to embrace the vibe. Escape the crowds and get back to enjoying skiing and snowboarding the way it was meant to be. From our family-friendly Kids Adventure Zone and uncrowded runs to the wide-open terrain for all abilities, the big mountain feel and Western charm makes Grand Targhee a must-visit winter destination.

With over 20 feet of snowfall to date, heading to the Tetons is a must-do. We invite you to experience and be part of the Targhee Vibe at Grand Targhee Resort!


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The SnowBrains Podcast Episode #31 – Dr. Russ Costa PhD – Why People Do Dumb Shit in the Mountains!!

Recorded on November 18, 2021, in Park City (Miles Clark) and Salt Lake City, UT (Dr. Russ Costa).

This episode was edited by Jared White

Music by Chad Crouch

Host, producer, and creator = Miles Clark

About The SnowBrains Podcast:

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  • The SnowBrains Podcast is hosted by professional freeskier, professional mountain guide, UC Berkeley Molecular Cell Biology graduate, and the Founder & CEO of SnowBrains, Miles Clark.
  • The SnowBrains Podcast will be publishing new episodes with riveting guests every week this winter.
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