Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)


At NOROCK our scientists are dedicating their time and effort to develop learning opportunities in ecosystem sciences for audiences ranging from K-12 youth, college and graduate students, to citizen scientists throughout the U.S.

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Screen shot of ScienceCache mobile application's site information.
March 6, 2017

If you like to geocache and you want to contribute to research, or you are a scientist looking to engage the public in repeat observations at a particular place, you should try ScienceCache.  

ScienceCache is a scientific geocaching mobile application framework.  By melding training and games into the hunt for place-based data collection sites, and incorporating photo uploads as data or for authentication, new volunteers can collaborate in robust data collection. As a volunteer, simply download the ScienceCache app, choose a route, and then follow the directions to collect data.  

Scientists build a project on the administrative website app, specifying locations or goals for new data collection sites, clues for established sites, and questions to answer, measurements, or other activities for the site based on their individual data needs.

USGS is building on the success of the USA National Phenology Network (NPN) and Science Base, using a case study assessing phenology of bear foods in Glacier National Park and applying those lessons to a second project evaluating tree invasion into alpine meadows using repeat photography.

Children examine the Loosing a Legacy exhibit at the MOST museum in Syracuse NY.
April 11, 2016

This trunk was made possible from a grant from NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Mission. It is designed to get students thinking about measuring precipitation - snow and ice, as well as rain- not just to do it, but why we would want to do it.

Losing a Legacy: a photographic story of disappearing glaciers display.
April 7, 2016

With evidence of worldwide glacial recession and predictions that all of the glaciers in Glacier National Park will melt by the year 2030, NOROCK scientists are documenting glacial decline through photography. Since 1997 over seventy photographs of nineteen different glaciers have been repeated. Thirteen of those glaciers have shown marked recession and some of the more intensely studied glaciers have proved to be just 1/3 of their estimated maximum size that occurred at the end of the Little Ice Age (circa 1850). In fact, only 25 named glaciers presently exist of the 150 glaciers present in 1850 and those that do are mere remnants of their previous size.

Repeating a glacier photo in Glacier NP.
March 1, 2016

Documenting the loss of ice among the glaciers of Glacier National Park has become an integral part of the USGS Climate Change in Mountain Ecosystems program.  Repeating historic photographs augments research and provides an effective means of visually communicating climate change.  The USGS encourages volunteer photographers to participate in capturing and submitting repeat photographs of glaciers to expand the USGS’ photo documentation of glaciers throughout the park.