Snowpack Monitoring

Albany Pine Bush Preserve Seeks Help from Neighbors

By Beth MacCallum, Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator

ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is looking for neighbors that can collect data within half a mile of the preserve to help track changing weather patterns by measuring the depth of snow in their own backyard or at their workplace. On Wednesday, October 11 from 7:00-8:00pm an online training will teach volunteers how to collect and submit measurements.

Climate change is altering seasonal weather patterns, especially temperature and precipitation, but little is known about specific changes in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.  The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is therefore asking preserve neighbors to help fill this knowledge gap by inviting them to participate in a community-science project to document snow depth around the preserve.

“Only six inches of snow is needed to keep the ground at a consistent 32 degrees Fahrenheit and buffer from swings in temperature,” said Amanda Dillon, Preserve Field Ecologist and Entomologist for the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. “Seven years of data from snowpack monitors demonstrates that we are not holding that depth consistently in winter months. This could be critical to the overwintering survival of many of our rare plants and animals like the Karner blue butterfly.”

According to Dillon, understanding how weather patterns in the preserve are changing is the first step to understanding what the Commission can do to improve the long-term survival of the Karner blue butterfly as well as more than 70 other rare wildlife listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need in New York State.

This program is free and recommended for ages 10+. Snow monitoring materials will be provided. Participants must be able to take measurements within one half mile of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Pre-registration is required. To sign up please visit or call 518-456-0655.

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