Snow Collider Workshop Held to Improve Projections of Future Snow in the North Central U.S.

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On June 11th, the North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) co-hosted Snow Collider, a virtual workshop that brought together the expertise of data scientists and natural resource managers to discuss statistical model projections of future snow in the Rocky Mountains.

Loch Vale lake at Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

Loch Vale lake at Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

(public domain)

Read the original news story posted by the North Central CASC, here.

Snow is a critical resource in the Rocky Mountains that supports numerous habitats, species, and ecosystem services, but is currently threatened by climate change. To prepare for expected changes in snowpack, scientists are working on statistical models to develop snow projections for the Rocky Mountains and other affected regions of the United States. In support of these efforts, the North Central CASC, the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service held a workshop designed to inform future modeling work involving snow projections. The workshop, Snow Collider, was hosted virtually on June 11, 2020 and brought together 29 participants comprised of managers, modelers, and group facilitators representing a variety of stakeholders, including CU Boulder, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Resources Conservation Service, and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Prior to the workshop, organizers surveyed attendees about their primary interests in future snow projections. Workshop organizers found that participants were mostly concerned about 1) water resources and quantity; 2) terrestrial species and habitats; and 3) aquatic species and habitats. These concerns were then used as the primary topics for discussion during the workshop. Participants also brainstormed key management issues that require snow data, identified specific types of data that would be useful from future snow projection models, and specified the most useful model output specifications such as spatial and temporal resolutions.

View the full Snow Collider June 2020 meeting summary, here.

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