Oct 17 2018


OST Partner Chris Daly: researcher, weather and climate modeler

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Brad Withrow-Robinson, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension agent in Benton, Linn and Polk Counties

Dr. Chris Daly knows weather. And he really likes weather data.  Lots and lots of data.

Chris in his office at PRISM Climate Group.

Chris is director of the PRISM Climate Group at  Oregon State University which uses vast amounts of weather data, including your OST/CoCoRaHS observations to help predict the future: the weather.   Chris is also a senior scientist at the HJ Andrews LTER (Long Term Ecological Research program).  Oh, and let’s not forget that Chris is an OST/CoCoRaHS weather observer at home too.

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Oct 17 2018


Increase the Value of Your Observations

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Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension agent for Benton, Linn and Polk Counties.

The retreat was a great opportunity for OST volunteers to see how their observations at home, woodland or school yard contribute to work being done at the Andrews forest and elsewhere. The take home message, heard from several of the speakers (including Chris Daly and Mark Schulze) was that your observations matter!

Chris Daly (see previous Meet the Partner article) explained the challenges, complexity and equipment needed to measure precipitation at high elevations of the Andrews.  He described some of the findings about air movement and pooling in a complex mountain environment the observations collected at the Andrews have led to.

A look at annual precipitation patterns across the topography of HJA.

Chris repeatedly returned to the importance of citizen science data from the CoCoRaHS system in supplementing and building out a much broader network of observation points than could be done as part of research programs such as his. “I had no idea researchers relied on citizen science data as much as they do.”  said one Season Tracker.

Chris Daly, founder and director of OSU PRISM Climate Group, talking with OST volunteers. (photo by Victor Villegas)

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Oct 17 2018


Oregon Season Tracker retreat at HJA a huge success

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Brad Withrow-Robinson, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension agent for Benton, Linn and Polk Counties.

About fifty Oregon Season Tracker citizen scientists, teachers, Extension personnel and researchers gathered to exchange ideas and inspiration at the Oregon Season Tracker retreat in mid-August.  OST is a joint program of OSU Extension and HJ Andrews Experimental Forest https://andrewsforest.oregonstate.edu/, so the beautiful 15,000 acre HJA forest in the mountains east of Springfield was the perfect location to take a deep dive into ecology and climate science.

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Oct 03 2018


Citizen Science Inspires Deeper Connections

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Reflections from an Oregon Season Tracker and Master Gardener, Susan Hoffman.

This past November, I attended the CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative, Rain, Hail and Snow Network) Citizen Science Training for Linn/Benton Counties. My husband and I left with a new water gage and a plan for daily measurement. We were also trained and encouraged to be part of Nature’s Notebook, a native plant/tree monitoring program thru the USA National Phenology Network.  What we have come to understand, is that the data we collect, which takes very little time and effort, adds to the collective data on our changing climate. At first, we just collected the water, emptied the gage and recorded the amount.  Then we started to comment to each other about how we never really noticed what one inch of rain was before…how much it had to rain, how long it took, the quality of the rain…and it got us outside in the garden, rain or shine, winter to summer, and now on to autumn. We also began a closer look at some of the native plants on our property….from winter form, to breaking leaf buds, increasing leaf size, flowers, fruiting, to fruit and leaf drop.

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