Research dates: 2012-2017
Investigator(s): Mark Shafer, Nolan Doesken, Xiangming Xiao, Julia Kumari-Drapkin
Beginning in 2012, SCIPP, CoCoRaHS, and the Earth Observation and Modeling Facility conducted a “Field Photo Weekends” project to create a national picture of our landscape. The project started out as a way to compare visual impacts of drought to the kinds of things we measure, like rainfall and stream flow. But the photos of places that are not in drought can be equally valuable, providing a frame of reference for future years and seasons. For each Field Photo Weekend, we asked CoCoRaHS observers and other citizen scientists to take pictures of the land around them - water bodies, fields, forests, or any other facet of our environment - at roughly the same time. These events began with Labor Day Weekend in 2012 and continued over Presidents Day and Memorial Day ever since. NOAA SARP provided funding to further develop the project, including improving training materials, access to the database, and analysis of images., and development of a Visual Drought Index. In addition, iSeeChange, an NGO that seeks to document environmental changes due to climate change, joined the project team.
For the paper on Developing a Visual Drought Index, click here.