OMSI Science Pub Eugene: Snowpack

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Thursday, February 13, 2020



$5 Suggested Donation

This Event is All Ages

Photo by Joe Klementovich

What’s in your Snowpack? Community Snow Observations and the Value of Citizen Science

With David F. Hill, PhD, Professor, Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University

February 13, 2020 | 6:30-8:30PM; Doors open @ 5PM | $5 Suggested Donation

If you don’t live in it, it can be easy to ignore snow. Tire chains, show shovels, down jackets…all someone else’s problems. But in the Pacific Northwest and other mountain environments, even if you don’t live in it, snow is an essential and unavoidable part of our water resources. Snowpack stores water, and slowly releases it to downstream locations in the spring time. Stream ecology, agriculture, and thirsty people all benefit. And, before it melts, let’s not forget the incredible recreational resource that snow provides to the Pacific Northwest. Understanding the distribution and evolution of our snowpack is therefore important, but can be difficult for many reasons. It’s cold, the days are short, and it’s hard to get to it to measure it.

This talk will discuss some of the ways in which we observe and study snow. It will introduce citizen science as a valuable way to crowd-source unique snow depth information. Wax your boards, tune your edges, and help improve what we know about the snow.

David Hill is a professor at Oregon State University and a National Geographic Explorer. For over 25 years, he has studied how water behaves as it travels from mountain headwaters to coastal environments. He currently co-leads the Community Snow Observations project, one of six citizen science projects funded by NASA to improve understanding of our physical environment. Hill has recently been an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. No matter the hemisphere, if it is spring time, You’ll find him out surveying the snow between mountain summit and trailhead.

Science Pub Eugene is a monthly event that is open to anyone and everyone. No RSVP or scientific background required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks, and knowledge! For more information or to sign up for our mailing list, email: