Lake City’s Snow Science 2015 Student Reflections

On Friday, Lake City High School students climbed up to the SNOTEL site at Lookout Pass to learn how to analyze the snowpack. Despite the rain and wind, they dug snow pits, collected data, and had a couple snow ball fights!

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Students, please respond to the following reflection questions as a comment to this post:

1.) What is the most valuable thing you learned on the snow science trip?

2.) How does snowpack impact you and your community?

3.) What was your favorite part of the day?

4.) How have today’s experiences shaped your understanding of careers in water resources or hydrology?

5.) How has today’s field work influenced your personal viewpoint on our understanding of water resources?

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20 thoughts on “Lake City’s Snow Science 2015 Student Reflections

  1. 1) The most valuable thing I learned on this trip was how important the snow is to our environment and how our generation needs to become aware of what is going on because soon enough it will be our problem. If we can start coming up with solutions now, we will be so much better off in the future.
    2) Snowpack plays a huge part in Coeur d’ Alene/ The Pacific Northwest. If the SWE keeps dropping throughout the years we will have a shortage of water for recreation, agriculture, domestic, etc. The more snowpack the more runoff going into our watershed. It determines the amount of water available to us in the summer.
    3) My favorite part of the day was building our own snow pits because my group worked really well together in building it and recording data, despite the bad weather at that time.
    4) Hydrologists don’t get enough credit for their profession. A lot of work goes into collecting snow data and then using that data to prove or explain an issue. People who have careers in this area really care about our watershed and want to preserve our water for future generations.
    5) After our field trip, I realized that this is definitely one of the biggest issues we should be confronting right now. We need water for a variety of reasons and without it, we wouldn’t be here. Therefore, this is one of the most important scientific projects right now in our society and I am really glad I could be a part of it.

  2. 1)The most valuable thing I learned on the snow science trip is that there is way more technical side to snow than just the amount of it. Those measurements that we took can help determine what our summer will be like this year and if we need to save more water.
    2)It affects everything in our community especially the amount of water we will have in the summertime that we need for agriculture, recreation, and domestic use. If we have inadequate snowfall then we could have a major drought in our area.
    3) My favorite part of the day is when we got to build the second snow pit because this time we actually knew what we were doing. Then after we dug the second pit we were able to have some fun in the snow.
    4)I learned today that not only do hydrologists have to work with rivers, lakes, and aquifers but a big part of their job is to watch the snow pack in order to make sure we have enough water to make it through the summer.
    5)Today has shaped my view on water resources quite a lot actually mainly with the fact that not only do we have to watch our other bodies of water but snow is the most important one that we need to watch if we want to have a good summer.

  3. 1. The most valuable thing that I learned on this trip was where the majority of our water comes from and how scientist figure out how much water we have available.
    2. The snowpack impacts me because I tend to spend my summers fishing and floating the Coeur d’Alene and the St. Joe rivers. The Snowpack influences the community by allowing us to play in the lake and I’m pretty sure that they’re other people that fish and float the nearby rivers.
    3.My favorite part of that day was when we dug our snowpits and figured out how big our snowpack is and how much water we have available to use, then at the end we still found enough energy to have a little snowball fight.
    4.The experiences from the trip allowed me to understand with more depth on what the hydrologist and other scientist do with our snowpack and what they have to do to figure out how much water is available for everyone to use.
    5. This field work that we did at Lookout has greatly influenced my understanding on water recources because one of the things that my family has to on our tree farm is to conserve our creek. Our creek is one of the suppliers of water to the lake and we try our best to make sure that our creek is has healthy as it can be.

  4. 1) The most important thing that I learned on the trip was how much water we really need to sustain the lifestyle we have. Even though people complain about the cold and snow it’s the one thing that prepares us for the year.
    2) Snow effects how much fresh water is dispersed through the watershed. It effects how high our rivers and lakes are in the summer. If there’s not enough water then there’s not enough room for fish. When the rivers are too low then we can’t play on the water.
    3) My favorite part of the day was when we were digging our pits for our small groups. It was cool because everyone was able to be involved unlike the big pit. The only problem with my pit was that there was a big bush running through the bottom layers. But it was fun when we were done because we played in the snow.
    4) Today really helped me understand that in our region hydrologists work alot more with snow than anything else.
    5) Today’s field work really influenced my viewpoint on how sensitive our watershed is to changes on a global basis considering that this year we have a mild El Niño and yet our snowpack holds about 65% less water than it did 30 years ago.

  5. 1)The most valuable thing I learned on the snow science trip was how intricate and fragile or water system is. With the human population the size that it is, we could easily overuse water and dry up our water resources.
    2)Snow pack eventually drains and become part of our aquifer. So, the water we use for drinking, agriculture, etc. come from the snow pack.
    3)My favorite part of the day was when we dug the first, big pit. It was cool to see all the snow layer across the wide hole that we dug. It was cool to compare our spot to the spot next to us.
    4)On Friday I saw a man taking snow measurements with a six foot stick. He also said they have a balloon to measure density and that they use signals bouncing off meteor dust. He did this as part of his job. So this guy’s hydrology career is pretty cool.
    5)Friday’s experience helped me understand that the water on the mountain is vital for drinking, cooking, and swimming in. It also showed me how much of the water we use is from the snow pack.

  6. 1) The most valuable thing I learned was how and why we tested for the density of the snow layers. The density eventually led to finding the SWE of the snow and this is important because it gives us an idea of how much water we will have for the rest of the year as the snowpack melts.
    2)The snowpack is the source of our water for the rest of the year. When the snowpack is lacking like this year’s is, our community might have to make some changes in water usage for us to have enough water for the rest of the year.
    3)My favorite part of the day was digging our own snow pit and collecting the data on our own. It was also very cool to do a column test for avalanche safety.
    4)This field trip showed me that a career in hydrology isn’t just dealing with water in its liquid form but its frozen or semi frozen state as well.
    5) This trip has greatly influenced my view on water resources in that it is extremely important to keep them clean not just bodies of water but our snowpack as well. What goes into our snow eventually goes into our drinking water so it is important to keep that clean.

  7. 1. The most valuable thing I learned through this trip was how important snow is for not only our community but also all of Idaho.
    2. Snow pack impacts our community because it is the main water source for us that we use all year round. We use it on our top five that we talked about in class (agriculture, drinking water, industry, domestic use, and recreation).
    3. My favorite part of the day was digging our own snowpits, I thought it was cool to be able to be independent and collect our own data with our groups. Also it was a lot of fun.
    4. This field trip showed me how much work goes into hydrology to determine our available water. I didn’t know there were so many people involved with the process.
    5. The field trip shaped my understanding of water because it showed me how much of it we need vs. how much of it we have. It showed me how important the job of being a hydrologist is to the community and how little people involved get recognized.

  8. 1. The most valuable thing I learned from the snow science trip is that the amount of snowfall we get each year is extremely important to our economy, agriculture, and environment.
    2. Snowpack has a huge impact on myself and my community. The level of snowpack we get each year affects our ability to grow food during the summer, our ability to produce hydroelectric energy, our recreational areas, our access to drinking water, our access to water for domestic use, and, importantly, the amount of water left over for the rest of the environment.
    3. My favorite part of the day was taking the snow measurements, especially the density measurements. I love that we were able to, albeit simulatedly, experience one of the many ways that science is used to gather information about our world and benefit us in the process.
    4. Today’s activities have showed me that there are many more complex careers in water resources than I originally thought. Also, snow science appears to be one of the most important activities hydrologists do in our area.
    5. Today’s fieldtrip has made me even more acutely aware of how important and how fragile our water resources are. We are so heavily reliant in the Northwest upon the amount of snowfall we get each winter, and changes in climate affecting the amount and timing of snowfall, even if they are uncontrollable like El Niño, should be taken into account when we consider how much water we need and what we need it for. The possibility that rainier, warmer winters may become common should be of great concern to our community because we rely heavily on spring snow melt off for our agriculture.

  9. 1) The most valuable thing i learned from the snow science trip is how North Idaho’s snow pact is a dynamic and vast part of our water shed.
    2) Snow pact impacts the community directly with ski sports and indirectly with the flow rate and water levels of our lakes and rivers.
    3) My favorite part of the day was (gracefully) sliding down huckleberry ridge on my stomach.
    4)The field work really showed me how intricate our watershed is and that a career in hydrology goes unappreciated a majority of the time.
    5) This trip really showed me how connected our watershed is and how a low snow pact can affect the summer’s water levels, I believe that our community should understand this system better and protect it better too.

  10. 1.) The most valuable thing that I learned from the snow science trip was how to d test the snow density and how to observe the different layers of snow. I also learned that our snow pack is a very important factor to our watershed and the many uses of water in our watershed.
    2.) Snow pack impacts us by controlling the amount of water there is for uses whether they are domestic such as drinking or bathing or agricultural purposes.
    3.) My favorite part of the day was building our own snow pits and learning how to collect data from the snow.
    4.) Seeing actual field work at the SNOWTEL station made me understand how the work that they do takes time and patience to create accurate data.
    5.) This trip made me realize how the snow pack plays a very important role in our watershed and our environment and how vital a good snow pack is to the community.

  11. 1.)The most valuable thing that I learned on this trip was that a lot of the water that we use is from the mountains and that the snow pact is important.
    2.) The snow pact affects many things, such as activities to do with water in the rivers and any domestic use.
    3.) My favorite part of the day was definitely digging the huge pit and seeing all the different layers.
    4.) Today taught me that water scientists also look at snow and how it affects all other water sources.
    5.) This trip taught me that the snow pact can largely affect different water sources and that we need to be more careful with it.

  12. 1. The most valuable thing I learned was how important the amount we get is and how it effects our community and environment.
    2. The snowpack has a huge snowpack on CDA, and if our SWE keeps dropping our community will be directly affected.
    3. My favorite part was digging our individual snowpits with our small groups, and of course the snowball fights.
    4. The experiences from the trip that hydrology is very important for determining how much water we’re going to have.
    5. After today I realized how important our water is, and we need to confront this rising issue.

  13. 1. The most valuable thing I learned was how important the amount of water we get from the melting snow is very important to our community.
    2. The snowpack has a huge snowpack on CDA. The level of snowpack we get each year affects our ability to grow food during the summer, our ability to produce hydroelectric energy, our recreational areas, our access to drinking water, our access to water for domestic use, and, importantly, the amount of water left over for the rest of the environment.
    3. My favorite part was digging our individual snowpits with our small groups and building snowmen
    4. The experiences from the trip that hydrology is very important for determining how much water we’re going to have in the future.
    5. After today I realized how important our water is, and we need to be more aware of this rising issue.

  14. 1) The most valuable thing I took from this trip is how precious our water is and how all the water in our water shed is shared throughout the region.
    2) Snowpack affects our community in several ways, but most importantly, it controls how much water our community can have.
    3) My favorite part of the day was the working as a big group and digging the pits. Although, being up in the mountains and seeing the incredible scenery was definitely the best part of the trip, in my opinion.
    4) I learned a lot about how many different careers deal with water, and also, I have a much better understanding of how water moves throughout the water shed and its uses.
    5) The field work from this trip has made me take a step back and realize how important conserving water truly is, and it has influenced me to make small changes to lessen my personal ecological footprint!

  15. 1. The most important thing I learned was how important our water is to our community and how easy it is to help out and make even a small difference.
    2. The snow pack is our main source of water for our community and drives our economy entirely.
    3. My favorite part of the day was being in individual groups and digging pits right next to each other but still getting really different results.
    4.Today made me realize how important careers in hydrology are because of how big of an impact our snowpack has on our local economy and watershed.
    5. It changed my personal understanding because before I didn’t understand just how important snow was other than the fact that you can’t ski when we get zero snow like we did this year.

  16. 1. The most important thing I learned was how important the snow water equivalency is to our city as well as the city’s affected by our watershed.
    2. Without a quality snow pack our economy would be affected dramatically. The main draw to Coeur d’ Alene is our lake and if it is affected negatively by our watershed then it would affect our economy. As well if we had a low snow water equivalency then we would have less water from the lake, to Coeur d’ Alene, for the people.
    3. My favorite part of the day would have had to been lunch! After hiking all the way up the hill, digging, snowball fights, and taking SNOTEL measurements I was starving!
    4.I never knew there was so much going into the research of snow and the snow pack. This type of job, I believe, is very important to both us and our economy.
    5. I feel like now that I have been out and have seen what goes into the research of our snow pack I have a lot more respect for the people who do the research and the valuable research of water.

  17. 1) The most important thing I learned on the snow science trip was how to measure snow pack.
    2) Snowpack affects me because it is vital the the way of life around here and it dictates how we can and will use the water around here during summer time.
    3)The entire trip was really a great experience.
    4) I now know more about the careers in water resources and have discovered more jobs that I didn’t know existed but are potential careers.
    5) My personal viewpoint has changed dramatically because I never paid any attention to where my water comes from but now I will think about it any time I use water.

  18. 1. I learned the importance of the amount of snow we receive. It was much clearer learning this first-hand instead of in a textbook.
    2. the snow pack impacts how much freshwater we get to use and how much the environment takes in.
    3. My favorite part was just being able to leave the classroom and be outside, but if i had to narrow it down to one activity it would be sliding on our bellies down the Mtn.
    4. I learned the boring but important job of taking specific snow samples throughout the area.
    5. I think the general public knows little to nothing on how dependent we are on snow especially the people who rely on the rivers for food, recreation, etc.

  19. 1. The most important thing I learned was the amount of snow we received this year, and how it affects some of the streams and water flow.
    2. The snow pack affects our community because we use the water for many purposes, and the amount of snow we get compared to the amount of rain will affect the water flow of streams and river because the snow usually melts much later in the year.
    3. My favorite part of the trip was shreddin some gnar down the mountain on my boots with sean hoppe. #shreddinyo
    Having snowball fights was up there too.
    4. I now understand what kind of work professionals do to get their data, i also realise how fun it would be involved with such a program or profession
    5. I previously had no understanding of how professionals got their data, i always assumed that they go to their designated data collection area and had to manually measure every aspect of it, now i understand that they have some equipment to help them out with the process.

  20. 1. The most valuable thing I learned on the trip was that the snow we receive is extremely important to the rest of our year and the amount of water we get.
    2. The snow pack affects me and my community because we use the water in all parts of our daily lives, and it is our way of getting fresh water.
    3. My favorite part of the day was having snowball fights and exploring with snowshoes!
    4. I learned how precise you need to be and that there is a lot of exploring and hard work involved in this type of career.
    5. After the trip, I saw that this is a huge issue in our community because we rely on it with almost everything we do. This is definitely something I would be interested in and I would like to let more people know of the damage that could be done. I also understand the methods and how to work the tools so I would like to test them out more.

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