Skiing lovers are definitely going to enjoy this latest report. According to the reports, the Earth Science arm of NASA is funding a research that encourages and recruits citizen scientists on skis, snowmobiles, and snowshoes to measure snow depth in backcountry locations of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Hence many researchers in those areas are now in search of backcountry individuals who are passionate about skiing and want to contribute to a science mission.
The latest programme funded by NASA has started recruiting citizen scientists, who are skiing enthusiasts, to measure the snow levels in mountain terrains. According to NASA, the measurements taken by the citizen scientists will be infused into computer models that calculate the amount of water that will end up in the region’s reservoirs and rivers. David Hill, an Oregon State University professor of civil engineering, who collaborated with Alaska and University of Washington researchers, said that their initial model run revealed that the citizen science measurements are doing an amazing job of improving their simulations.
Hill is confident that the measurements by backcountry skiers, snowboarders and snowmobile riders will prove to be valuable in lowering the error rate of computer simulation of snow cover. That means the measurements of snow height by citizen scientist will help researchers get better simulations of their computer models. The snowpack measurements are amalgamated into computer remodels that estimate the watershed’s “snow-water equivalent,” the amount of liquid water present in snow cover. The computer models take into account measurements of snow cover taken by the space agency’s satellite or craft. According to NASA, in western states, around three-fourth of the annual streamflow providing drinking water comes from summer and spring melt. For the project, Hill and his team received one of sixteen NASA citizen science grants. The name of the citizen snow-measuring program is Community Snow Observations.
Kevin Murphy, a program executive for science data systems at NASA headquarters further informed that the grant awarded to David Hill, Anthony Arendt of the University of Washington and Gabriel Wolken, a research geologist with the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, is not directly linked to that project but has a mutual interest. Murphy said that about two years ago they decided to start this snow-measuring programme, which actually looks at the way the creativity and the capabilities of citizens could be harnessed to augment of a lot their satellite or aircraft measurements.