Dr. Ryan Crumley, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) postdoctoral researcher and New Mexico Consortium (NMC) affiliate, recently gave a presentation about seasonal snow modeling at the 102nd AMS Annual Meeting which took place from January 23-27, 2022.
Crumley’s presentation titled “Recent advances and future research in participatory science and seasonal snow modeling using the Community Snow Observations”, is a study that tests the ability of this snow dataset to accurately characterize snow depth distributions.
This presentation was about his research published in 2021 in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, titled, “Assimilation of citizen science data in snowpack modeling using a new snow data set: Community Snow Observations”. Read this primary publication at https://hess.copernicus.org/articles/25/4651/2021/ Dr. Crumley works for LANL scientist and NMC affiliate Katrina Bennett. His collaborators on this project include Ph.D. student Nina Aragon at Oregon State University, and Dr. David Hill at Oregon State University.
Community Snow Observations (CSO) is a citizen science campaign to measure snow. This collaboration aims to improve snow scientist’s understanding of snow depth variability in mountainous regions. The project relies on community-based observers, including backcountry professionals and recreationists, to help gather snow observations.
The goal of this research was to test the ability of this new snow dataset to accurately characterize snow depth distributions in the study area and better inform the snow water equivalent and snow depth outputs from the process model. The study found that 62-78% of model simulations that included CSO measurements displayed improved model output fields after assimilation. Furthermore, they found that few (between 1 and 8) measurements were necessary to obtain those improvements.
For future research, the CSO team will be investigating results in various watersheds in the western United States (U.S.), including the Grand Tetons area in Wyoming, the Sierra Nevada mountains region near Lake Tahoe in California, and parts of the Oregon Cascades.
The final findings of this research are available at the operation modeling website https://www.mountainsnow.org/. Crumley hopes this will be extremely useful for those who use remote, mountainous environments such as snow sports athletes, snow professionals, and the general public.
To learn more about Dr. Ryan Crumley and his research see his LANL research profile here. To learn more about Community Snow Observations and get a lot more information on this project and how and way to participate, see the website at Community Snow Observations
Top photo of Dr. Ryan Crumley performing the work for this project in the White Mountains in New Hampshire taken in 2019 by photographer Joe Klementovich.