News

Field Photos Project Weekend | 3.13.2013

We all take observations of the weather each day, but have you ever wondered how the weather relates to the world around us? Our data can tell us a lot about balance. Is there enough rain or too much? Is the hailstorm big enough to cause damage? How is the snowpack doing and what will that mean for next year’s water supply? But to truly understand the relationship between weather and our landscape, nothing beats a set of eyes.

SCIPP invited participation in this event from February 16-18, to create a national picture of our landscapes. The goal is to get as many observers as we could to take pictures of water bodies, fields, forests, or any other facet of our environment that they believed represented the conditions around them. It could be a picture of a favorite fishing hole, a nearby farmer’s field, or a nice secluded spot amongst the trees. All of these landscapes are affected by rainfall, or in the case of many places this year, the lack thereof. So why did we do this?

First of all, it is wonderful to be able to appreciate nature’s beauty and to be able to see the world around us. But having everyone taking pictures at approximately the same time allows us to see this landscape as it relates to the things we measure - how it compares to the amounts of rain that have fallen or if it looks like we might expect according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Is the land around you as green as the satellite seems to think?

This is the first of what we hope will become a somewhat regular event. So while the weather around you may seem normal this year, these photos might give you (and us) a point of reference for what is maybe different next year or in another season. There is no obligation to participate in future Field Photo Weekends, so we encourage everyone to give this one a try and see how it goes.