The snow man

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - 14:00 in Earth & Climate

It’s a surprisingly warm and sunny morning in late February, and no one is happier about that than Paul Smith. Sure, Smith is ready for this year’s particularly brutal winter to end. Like any New Englander, the Franklin, Mass., native has a hardwired aversion to shoveling. But the long-awaited thaw also means the end of a season-long test for the new associate manager of Harvard’s landscape services, aka the snow guru. Smith oversees the University’s snow removal team. In a winter that saw week after week of seemingly endless snowfall, totaling more than 70 inches thus far, that task requires a lot of patience, a good working relationship with his crew, and a dedication to keeping the University community safe. A 520-ton hill of salt doesn’t hurt, either. “This year was almost a month straight of plowing, salting, and moving snow,” he said. “That’s the most salt we’ve ever used since I started...

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