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How to Play in the Snow…For Science!

Citizen Science Salon iconCitizen Science Salon
By SciStarter Team
Jan 20, 2023 12:54 AMJan 20, 2023 4:57 PM
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Winter weather offers many unique ways to collect and share observations that advance research. If you live in a snowy place, venture outside to measure snow depth. No snow in your area? You can contribute by observing a body of water throughout the winter or even reporting how and when storms change.

By working together, or contributions can create a better understanding of our environment.

Stay warm, The SciStarter Team

Image credit: David Hill, Oregon State University

Measure snow depth to help experts model real-time snow conditions. All you need is a ruler or yard stick and the free mobile app Snow Scope. And snow, of course! This new project is part of the NASA Citizen Science for Earth Systems Project.

Location: Anywhere there’s snow

Register here to talk with a Cryosphere Hazards Scientist about Community Snow Observations during SciStarter LIVE on Jan 24th.

Image credit: Daderot/Wikimedia Commons

As an IceWatch USA volunteer, you observe a water body in your area over the winter and report on the weather and wildlife activity. In as little as 10 minutes, your observations help scientists analyze climate change and other environmental factors, as well as how people can adapt.

Location: U.S.

Image credit: Mountain Rain or Snow

Human observers are the best resource for discovering how precipitation varies in time and space. Start reporting with the Mountain Rain or Snow app when a storm near you changes from rain to snow and vice versa. Researchers use the observations to improve satellite data and hydrologic models.

Location: U.S.


For educators: Engage students through outdoor field-based activities collecting meteorological data, while learning about the shared importance of snow to our environment and water resources. You’ll need a thermometer, ruler and access to devices with internet.

Data contributed will help expand meteorological monitoring networks, and provide valuable insight to broader climate and hydrological processes.

Location: Online

Image credit: CoCoRaHS

Submit precipitation reports to the CoCoRaHS website and your data will be immediately available for viewing.

This real-time data is used by the National Weather Service, emergency managers, city utilities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, engineers, mosquito control, ranchers and farmers, teachers, students and more!

Location: U.S., Canada, Bahamas


January 24 – Play in the Snow for Science by Reporting Snow Depth (featuring Community Snow Observations)

Contribute to scientific research next time you’re out in the snow! Join us during our LIVE (on Zoom) event and meet Katreen Wikstrom Jones, Cryosphere Hazards Scientist for the State of Alaska, who will tell us how winter mountain hikers can measure snow depth for Community Snow Observations. Register for the January 24th event here.


Citizen Science Month offers thousands of opportunities for you to turn your curiosity into impact. There’s something for everyone, everywhere! Join others in learning about and participating in real (and fun) ways to help scientists answer questions they cannot answer without you.

Explore featured citizen science projects, find an event near you or online, learn more about Citizen Science Month itself or complete one of our self-guided, free online training modules to earn a badge in preparation for April.

If you’re a project leader or other facilitator, we’re here for you. Read our Welcome Letter to get started, add your event to our CSM calendar, download resources for organizers and sign up for our mailing list to receive planning updates.

The latest blogs:

Discover more citizen science on the SciStarter calendar. Did you know your SciStarter dashboard helps you track your contributions to projects? Complete your profile to access free tools. Want even more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

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