Climate center seeking volunteers

The Utah Climate Center, which is located on the USU Campus, is looking for volunteers to place rain gauges at their homes to take daily water measurements. Program coordinator Rob Davies says the volunteers are sought as part of the national Water Rangers Program, launched in the summer of 2008 to study precipitation levels in the state. There are currently 150 volunteers in the program from 19 of the state’s 29 counties. Davies says the Water Rangers Program has nearly doubled the number of precipitation measurement locations and the data is being used to improve estimates of the state’s water resources. “The hydrologists use it to help them estimate how much water we’re going to have,” Davies says. “Another important thing, as we try to improve climate models from the global scale down to the regional scale, having these finer space measurements allows modelers to better validate their model, in other words test their models.” Davies says Water Rangers must purchase a rain gauge that costs $18 and watch a 20-minute slide show over the Internet that teaches how to take rain and snow measurements. The volunteers are then asked to log daily precipitation reports on the Internet. For more information, you can contact the Climate Center or Davies at robert.davies@usu.edu.

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