Who is the citizen scientist? What have they learned from participating? Survey results from CoCoRaHS (the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network)

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Monday, 18 January 2010
Missy Holzer, Rutgers University and Chatham High School, New Brunswick, NJ; and H. Reges, N. J. Doesken, R. Cifelli, Z. Schwalbe, and J. Turner

Handout (989.1 kB)

CoCoRaHS (The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network) is a "Citizen Science" project where volunteers of all ages have the opportunity to measure and report the amount and type of precipitation that falls in their own backyard. CoCoRaHS began as a local community project in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1998 following a devastating local flash flood the previous year. Starting with a few dozen volunteers in northern Colorado, CoCoRaHS has now expanded nationwide (49 states as of September, 2009) and has over 14,000 active volunteers. Measurements taken using simple low-cost rain gauges and hail pads are made publicly available on the CoCoRaHS website: www.cocorahs.org. Data are of such high quality that National Weather Service offices and many other professional organizations are now using CoCoRaHS data routinely for monitoring, research and education.

A comprehensive survey of CoCoRaHS participants is being conducted during the fall of 2009. This presentation will present some of the early results from this survey. Demographics, response rates, volunteer motivations, level and duration of participation, impact of participation, educational impacts, and educational resources are some of the key categories that are being assessed in this survey. Future plans for the CoCoRaHS network will also be described.

Supplementary URL: http://www.cocorahs.org