The Living Snow Project (LSP) is a citizen science program housed at Western Washington University that studies “watermelon snow,” or snow algae.
The Wildflower Watch program would like your help gathering data on phenology (timing of ecological events) in the area surrounding Jackson, Wyoming.
In the past, I’ve associated the concept of phenology with flowers and trees undergoing seasonal transformations from buds to blooms. However, conducting research on the Easton Glacier the past several months for my Masters thesis has shown me the remarkably striking ways at which mountain-scapes, too, change with the seasons.
The snow line in the southern Tetons climbs visibly higher each day as if the 17/18 ski season is waving us goodbye. Bare ground was present within Jackson’s city limits for most of the winter, but the Snake River basin’s snow water equivalent (SWE) stacked up to 112 % of the running average (calculated by the Natural Resource conservation Service, NRCS).
After snow depth measurements are recorded by CSO participants, we’ve developed a way to integrate those observations into the process of snowpack modeling. Snow models use data from weather stations and landscape characteristics to build a snowpack during the winter and melt it away when the weather gets warmer in spring and summer.