DUBOIS – IceWatch USA is looking for volunteers across Pennsylvania.
With IceWatch USA, volunteers select a water body or water bodies to observe and report back on over winter. Volunteers observe and report back on winter precipitation, snow and ice coverage, air temperature and wildlife.
The program begins each season on the first day of autumn, while the season end varies across the country and dependent on how long winter weather persists.
The data collected is shared with interested scientists that analyze citizen-science data for environmental indicators such as climate change.
The data is also shared with Ice Watch Canada, and the United States version of the program, created and operated by Nature Abounds, is now being replicated for schools in Germany.
According to Melinda Hughes, Nature Abounds’ president, there’s a great need for IceWatch USA volunteers across Pennsylvania.
She said, “With the recent extreme cold temperatures, we’re seeing plenty of ice on our streams, rivers and lakes across Pennsylvania.
“With these warmer temperatures, the ice is cracking and may create ice jams if they haven’t already, many of which lead to flooding.
“Monitoring these conditions is extremely important. More volunteers are really needed everywhere.”
Several sites across Pennsylvania in the past have been monitored for IceWatch USA, including locations in Wayne County, Clearfield County, Centre County, Delaware County, Allegheny County, Cumberland County, Bucks County and Chester County. Hughes said that even these areas need more volunteers.
IceWatch USA is a seasonal program of Nature Abounds, a national non-profit with offices in DuBois, which has more than 10,000 volunteers across all 50 states and beyond, engaged in activities to help the environment.