2015 St. Maries Snow Science Reflection Questions

Students collecting data from snow pits at Lookout Pass

Students collecting data from snow pits at Lookout Pass

Please respond to the following questions in order to reflect upon the Snow Science field trip.

1) After completing the Snow Science field trip, how has this experience impacted your interests within the water resources career field?

2)How has this field trip compared and contrasted from an in class science lab?

3)What was the most valuable information you learned today about snow science/water quantity?

4)How does the Snow Science unit and field trip compare to the water quality unit from last semester? Why is it important to learn about water quantity and water quality?

5)Expanding upon our conversation on the impact of lessoning snow fall and increased rain fall within the hydrologic cycle, explain the negative consequences that may arise if not enough  snow fall enters the cycle?


17 thoughts on “2015 St. Maries Snow Science Reflection Questions

  1. 1. After this experience, my interests in this didn’t change too much. I thought it was a lot of fun but the cold just isn’t for me.
    2. This field experience is very different from in class labs. The field trip is a lot more hands on and in depth.
    3. The most valuable information I learned was how the snow-pack can affect our environment.
    4. It is important to learn about water quantity and quality so we know if we have enough of safe water.
    5. If not enough snow falls, then we could have a huge loss of water causing drought. If we don’t have enough water, then dangerous wild fires could occur.

  2. 1. This experience didn’t impact any of my interests in the water resources career field. What did impact me was the avalanche training because it is a very useful skill to have in your toolbox.
    2. Filling out data is a constant within any scientific setting, as is the collection of information. What was a nice change from an in class lab was that we got to experience the real settings of snow science instead of reading about it in the classroom.
    3. The most valuable information that I got out of this field trip was how to measure the SWE of an area and how one can calculate how much water will come out of the snow.
    4. We learned more in depth of what we learned in our water quality unit, such as how a snowpack affects the quantity of water in the dry months. We must know about water quantity and water quality so we can prepare ourselves in the event of a drought and know exactly why we have droughts in the first place.
    5. When we don’t have enough snow, there is not enough water in the spring to go around to every organism. Crops wither and die, animals die of thirst and/or starvation, and with dry plants hanging around you get really big fire hazards. One other consequence is a water shortage for the purposes of irrigation and other activities we humans engage in. Water is a very important part of our lives, and necessary for every organism’s survival.

  3. After attending the snow science field trip, I kind of want to go into the water resource career. There is many different career options that i can do. This trip compared to our class labs was a lot more interactive and fun. Granted we did have to climb, a lot, but it was really fun at the same time. We had more hands on experiments and got to see how it actually worked in real life. I learned information on avalanches that i can use if i ever decide to go skiing or do anything in the snow. We are seeing the affect that the low snow content has here in St. Maries. There is more water rising than usual and there doesn’t seem to be as many deer. Water quantity is really important to have because we need water. Without it life wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t have the animals that we do.

    • Gabrielle,

      I am very excited to learn that this field trip has increased your interest within this career field. As I have stated in the introduction lesson, this field is very broad and can utilize various college degrees. Please consult with me on any further questions you have about this field, undergraduate degree programs, and internships. I hope the rest of the semester continues to expand your interests within this field!

  4. 1) This field experience showed me a different profession in the water resources career field.

    2) This field trip related to an in class lab in that we did multiple tests and analysis on the snow. It differed in that we couldn’t do an in class lab outside. We got to travel to Lookout Pass to perform these studies.

    3) The most valuable thing that I learned was that snow is a very important factor in how much water our local watershed will receive throughout the summer of the following year. Snow will slowly melt during the summer and provide our area with needed water.

    4) This snow science field trip compares to our water quality field trips in that water quantity and water quality relate. If you have a lesser quantity of water, it may affect your water quality because more materials could pollute the smaller amount of water easier.

    5) Snow fall provides a slow infiltration of water into a water shed. Whereas rainfall is quickly added and quickly removed.

  5. This experience did not make me want to pursue a career in the water resources field, although I learned new things.

    This field trip was more of an experience than in the classroom. We actually got to test real life situations that make an impact on the world instead of just a made up lab.

    The most valuable information I learned was that how much snow we have on the mountains affects the amount of groundwater we will have in the summer. This summer we are more likely to have fires because there is less snow and the grounds will be dry and easier to catch on fire.

    The snow science field trip was about water quantity and our other field trips were about water quality and they relate. More water quantity means that the water quality could be better for the organisms living in the water environment. It is important to learn about water quantity and water quality for the sake of freshwater for organisms and healthy environments.

    If not enough snow falls, the fire hazards will rise higher in the summer because the ground will be really dry.

  6. After attending our snow science field trip, I have had some more interests in avalanches and water rising levels. This experience is somewhat different from a class lab because we get to go out and participate in real life experiences while in a lab you go through procedures to obtain data in a small scale. With a field event there is actual data made collectively within the same locations annually. The most valuable information that I learned is the more snow fall there is the higher the water line rises because the mountains snow becomes groundwater. That is also how snow effects the water quality. Snow also effects this because if there isn’t an abundant amount of snow then the ground water turns into mud and can cause a land slide into the water. Therefore we want more snow to make a compacting effect to keep water quality and quantity in tact.

  7. This experience did not affect my interest in this field, but I did think it was very interesting and fun to learn all these things about snow. It contrasted with being in a class room by we actually got to “get our hands dirty” and actually participate rather than just sitting in a class listening to a presentation. The most valuable information I learned was how measuring snow quantity can affect how much water you will get in a year. Water quality and quantity relate by the quality of the water is bad you don’t want big quantity. If the quality is good then you would want a higher quantity. If snow fall provides a low amount of water into a watershed, it could potentially start a drought for the next year

  8. Lookout Pass Field Experience
    I had a great time on this field trip! I never knew that snow was so important to our water resource. Before this field trip I thought that the water we use for plants came from the rain. Now I know that it is the snow and how important it is to have a good snow pack.

  9. This field experience had a lot of impact of how I think about water. I didn’t know that the water quantity in snow is really important. But when I climbed that mountain and did different measurements I noticed it is actually really important. Without any snow forming on the mountains in the winter, it would affect of how we could grow our crops in the summer. The labs the class does helps this topic relate to the field experience. Even though snow shoeing was really tiring it was also really fun. I now know more ways of how water relates to “life”. I would definitely go again if I got the chance to now that I know this.

  10. 1)This field trip has showed me that there are so many career opportunities that involve studying snow and running water.

    2) This field trip is the same a labs because we take measurements in class too. It was different because we were outside in the snow and having fun.

    3) I learned that a snow pack is very important to crop production and recreation.Before this field trip I did not think that snow on the mountains was important at all. Now I see that if there isn’t a lot of snow there won’t be enough water and it will be extremely dry come summer.

    4) This field trip is similar the last semesters field trip they both involve how much water is available. Learned about water quantity and quality is important because if the quantity is low than there will be more pollution and cause lesser quality.

    5) There won’t be enough flood water for crop production and recreation, and water won’t help with that because rain water doesn’t stay.

  11. 1) Although the Snow Science field trip was interesting, I still have no desire to go into a water resources career field.

    2) The Snow Science field trip was different from an in class lab in many ways. First we were outside moving around, which generally does not happen in an in class lab. Also, it was more of a doing lab than placing solution “X” into beaker “Y” kind of lab. I think I got more out of the Snow Science lab than I would have if it had been a repetitive in class lab.

    3) I learned that although rain is nice to have, we need the snow pack because of its slow distillation of water. The higher t he quantity of the snow pack the more water we have and the least likely wild fire would start up.

    4) If you are talking in the amount of work we did, the Snow Science field trip was harder than the Water Quality field trip, but I was able to learn a great deal from both field experiences. It is important to learn about water quality/quantity because if you have a large quantity of poor quality water (ex: Lake Eerie) it has a bad impact on the species around it, but if you have a small quantity of great quality water you have a smaller, but better, impact on the species around the water.

    5) If you have an increased amount of rainfall in the hydrologic cycle, you will get flooding and although rainfall if great, it does not stay long and there is a possibility of there being wildfires in the surrounding areas. With the lessening of snowfall in the hydrological cycle, the surrounding areas will lose the benefit of the slow distillation of the snow pack; therefore leading to a dry summer and poor, or possible no, crop production. As well as the dangers of drought and wildfires.

  12. 1) The field trip let me see what it is like for people who work on SNOTEL sites like the one we saw on Wednesday. There is a lot of hands on work outdoors when it comes to working with SNOTEL sites.
    2) Like a lab the field trip has educational value and taught us something new. Unlike a lab it is outside, takes an entire day, and is loads more hands on.
    3) The most valuable thing I learned about snow/ water quantity is that if we don’t have a lot of snowpack then there will be droughts.
    4) Both water quality and water quantity are important to our environment. If we have a small snow pack then we need to be careful with what happens to the water because water with bad quality can’t be used.
    5) If there isn’t enough snow then the water won’t stay the rain just leaves but the snow melts over a long period of time giving us more water. Without more snow there shall be droughts and a higher need to conserve our water meaning that we won’t have as many crops and we can’t as wasteful with water as people like to be.

  13. 1.)I have never been really wanted to go into snow science but I did find the field trip fun.
    2.)In labs are just can but don’t always use real data like field trips do and field trips introduce us to professionals at work.
    3.)I learned about the importance of snow and how this year is going to be extremely dry due to a lack of snow.
    4.)The Snow Science Field Trip demonstrated water quantity in the form of snow. If the quality in the water is bad, than we can’t use it and if we don’t have a very large quantity, then we’re going to have to find some kind of replacement for water.
    5.)If there is not enough snow then the water supply during the summer will be exhausted.

  14. Excellent responses so far for the reflection questions on the Snow Science field trip! I really enjoyed spending the day with you all and from your comments, it looks like everyone absorbed quite a bit from this experience. I am very pleased to see so many in-depth and personal responses on the importance of studying water quantity. Keep up the good work!

  15. 1.) After the field experience at Look Out Pass my interests in a job with water have not changed too much while the experiences have been fun I don’t see a career for me.
    2.) Field trips are always better than an in class lab since you are able to be outside actually retrieving your own data and fully understanding what goes into the research you do in the in class labs.
    3.) The most valuable information i took out of the field trip was learning how the snow pack on mountains affects our everyday life.
    4.) The snow science field trip demonstrates the quantity of water in the snow. It shows that if you have a small amount of good quality water it will be better for the species that have to live with it then a large amount of terrible quality water.
    5.) If it continues to rain the water will run off into the lakes and rivers, but their will not be as much stored water to use for agriculture and drinking water that humans and other species need to survive.

  16. 1. Following the Snow Science Field trip, my interests in pursuing a career in water resources were impacted a little bit. Its not really what I’m interested in, but I do like the idea of being outside and doing recreational stuff for a career.

    2. They were very similar because we do testing and take data during both of them, but on the field trip you can enjoy being in the great outdoors instead of stuffy classroom.

    3. Probably the most valuable thing I learned was how important our snowpack is to Idaho. We need lots of snow in the winter instead of the rain we have been having because it slowly melts during the summer and gives us our freshwater. Rain falls down and instantly starts moving towards the ocean.

    4. Both were fun outdoor experiences in which we learned about how water affects us and how we affect it. The snow science field trip involved more data taking and we did more as individuals. its important to learn about water quality and quantity because water is our most important resource and we need to protect it.

    5. Since we’ve been having mostly rain instead of snow this winter, it is likely that we will have an extremely dry summer because we won’t have any snow on the mountains to slowly melt and supply us with our freshwater.

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