I have to admit that I’m not a fan of cold weather, however, for those of you that enjoy puffer coats and big boots, this may just be the project for you. According to GANT News, IceWatch USA is looking for more volunteers, particularly in Pennsylvania. You get to monitor a body (or bodies) of water for ice, while also noting precipitation, temperature and signs of wildlife. IceWatch is a program by Nature Abounds and their site offers some solid reasons for observing the effects of ice.
Around the globe, scientists have studied the freezing and thawing of ice on freshwater lakes, concluding that the climate is indeed warming. Likewise, scientists around the globe have been studying weather as well as wildlife behavior.
Seasonal differences in the ice cover of lakes and rivers can have a serious impact on our ecosystems. For example, changes in the migration patterns and breeding seasons of birds, food supplies for fish and mammals, water temperature and water chemistry, can occur. Additionally, ice cover affects trade, transportation, outdoor recreation, and tourism.
Volunteers take photos and make written observations of ice-on and ice-off conditions. Findings are emailed to a coordinator for input into the national database and are shared with scientists. This project is partnered with IceWatch Canada so you can imagine how the dataset is growing. This is an easy project for those that live near a body of water (ponds count); there is interesting science waiting to be discovered in all seasons.