Scientists collect a lot of data about our weather, climate and environment. The data helps us understand changes, develop conceptual models, and generate forecasts. But we need to know that these observations represent what is really happening locally. We cannot put a set of eyes everywhere they need to be, but we can get a close proxy through photographs.
Last fall, SCIPP partnered with CoCoRaHS (http://www.cocorahs.org/), a network of volunteer weather observers developed by the Colorado Climate Center, to ask their observers to take pictures of their landscapes at approximately the same time, over labor day weekend. The project generated more than 800 photos, which helps scientists understand local impacts from drought to land cover and habitat changes. SCIPP and CoCoRaHS repeated the effort over Presidents Day Weekend with similar results. As we enter a new growing season, it is time to do this once more.
Now that we have developed a process for managing all these photos, we are opening up participation beyond CoCoRaHS observers. So if you have a camera, you can participate. The photo archive is managed by the Earth Observation and Modeling Facility (http://www.eomf.ou.edu/photos/) at the University of Oklahoma. You can post pictures directly or you can simply e-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post them for you. We are looking for pictures of your local fields, forests, lakes and streams. Visit our Photo Project webpage (http://www.southernclimate.org/fieldphotos/) for more information on how to participate.