Citizen Scientists Help with Winter Landscape Study Investigating Reforestation and Climate Change in NH

Citizen Scientists Help with Winter Landscape Study Investigating Reforestation and Climate Change in NH

May 14, 2012

Citizen scientists are helping doctoral student Elizabeth Burakowski and her adviser Cameron Wake (of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space) collect data for the first study ever to measure the albedo of the New Hampshire landscape in winter.  Changes in albedo (the amount of solar radiation reflected from the Earth's surface) due to reforestation of previously-cleared areas may play a role in climate change in New England.

To build a baseline measure to understand the effect of land use on albedo, Burrakowski is using many tools, including satellite imagery, tower and field placement of albedometers, and snow data gathered by a group of 18 “citizen scientists.”  These volunteers are all self-proclaimed weather nuts and members of the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRAHs).

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