Snow Studies Add Relevance to Long Winter

This winter, students at CCLC’s Cobscook Community High School program are studying snowfall and snowpack as part of a larger effort to understand the links between snowfall and climate change. This project, facilitated by Acadia Learning for Participatory Science, engages students in collecting valuable data that can help researchers understand changing climate in Maine, and how changes in snowpack and snowmelt effect diadromous fish species like Atlantic salmon. 

The snowpack project requires that the students get out into the field on a daily basis to collect and record data on snow fall, snow water equivalent, air temperature, and snow temperature. Teacher Michael Giudilli states, “This project is great because it provides our students with an opportunity to be involved in the collection of real weather data, which is of great value to scientist throughout our state and the country. It also helps our students to cultivate their skills in developing hypothesis, interpreting data, and planning and carrying out investigations.” 

The students will continue to collect data  throughout the winter season and then use this data, and data collected by other students throughout the state, to test hypothesis developed at the start of the project. The project will culminate in the students presenting their findings to the other project participants at the end of the academic year. 

Acadia Learning for Participatory Science is a collaborative partnership between the Schoodic Education and Research Institute, the University of Maine, and Maine Sea Grant. It provides research partnerships for teachers, students and scientists throughout New England. To date this partnership has facilitated studies on culverts and stream ecology, mercury in watersheds, and nitrogen cycling and has involved 35 teachers and over 2500 students from Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont in research partnerships. Students, families, and community members interested in learning more about the Cobscook Community High School Program are encouraged to call 733-2233 or visit www.cclc.me to apply, receive program information, or schedule a visit.