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“Mountain Rain or Snow” Seeks Citizen Scientists and Winter Storm Reports

During the winter, a few degrees can make all the difference between digging your car out of a
snowbank and rushing rivers overtopping their banks. Why? Winter storms at near-freezing
temperatures have notoriously fickle precipitation, with mixes of rain and snow. While the air
temperature difference between the two may be slight, the real-world consequences can be
huge.

What’s more, the computer models we use to predict weather and streamflow often struggle to
predict whether rain or snow will fall when temperatures are right around 32°F. Satellites don’t
do much better. What this means is that scientists need your help!

With NASA funding, a team from Lynker, the Desert Research Institute, and the University of
Nevada, Reno are launching a citizen science project where volunteers like you can submit
observations of rain, snow, and mixed precipitation via your smartphone, laptop, desktop, tablet,
or any other device with a browser. We call it Mountain Rain or Snow and you can report from
your backcountry adventures, winter drives (as long as you’re the passenger!), and even the
comfort of your own home. Every observation is valuable!

As we grow the community of Mountain Rain or Snow volunteers, we will be better able to
analyze patterns of rain and snow to improve satellite monitoring and model predictions. This
info can then bring about better weather forecasts, more detailed knowledge of skiing
conditions, improved avalanche risk assessments, and more robust understanding of the water
stored in mountain snowpacks.

This winter we’re focusing our efforts on the following mountain regions. If you’re in one of these
areas, text the region-specific keyword to the number provided. You’ll then get a link to the
Mountain Rain or Snow web app and you’ll receive notifications of incoming winter storms in
your area. You can opt out at any time.

The Appalachians and Adirondacks of New England and New York
○ Text NorEaster to 855-909-0798
The Cascades, Coast Range, and Klamath Mountains of Oregon
○ Text OregonRainOrSnow to 855-909-0798
The Sierra Nevada of California and Nevada
○ Text WINTER to 855-909-0798
The Rocky Mountains of Colorado
○ Text CORainSnow to 855-909-0798

If you don’t happen to find yourself in one of the above areas, don’t fret! We welcome
observations from wherever you are. Anyone can submit an observation at any time via
https://rainorsnow.app/ and you can check out our website for more information. For Mountain
Rain or Snow questions, you can contact the project lead, Dr. Keith Jennings, at
rainorsnow@lynker.com.

Lynker delivers innovative solutions to support global environmental sustainability and
economic prosperity as a trusted partner to governments, communities, research institutions,
and industry. We are passionate about what we do and the high value we provide to water
resources management, hydrologic science, and conservation across the US and beyond. For
more information, please visit https://www.lynker.com/.

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied
environmental research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students
who work alongside them, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative
technologies in research projects around the globe. Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced
scientific knowledge on topics ranging from humans’ impact on the environment to the
environment’s impact on humans. DRI’s impactful science and inspiring solutions support
Nevada’s diverse economy, provide science-based educational opportunities, and inform
policymakers, business leaders, and community members. With campuses in Las Vegas and
Reno, DRI serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education.
For more information, please visit www.dri.edu.

The University of Nevada, Reno is a public research university that is committed to the
promise of a future powered by knowledge. Nevada’s land-grant university founded in 1874, the
University serves 21,000 students. The University is a comprehensive, doctoral university,
classified as an R1 institution with very high research activity by the Carnegie Classification of
Institutions of Higher Education. Additionally, it has attained the prestigious “Carnegie Engaged”
classification, reflecting its student and institutional impact on civic engagement and service,
fostered by extensive community and statewide collaborations. More than $800 million in
advanced labs, residence halls and facilities has been invested on campus since 2009. It is
home to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and Wolf Pack Athletics, maintains
a statewide outreach mission and presence through programs such as the University of
Nevada, Reno Extension, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, Small Business Development
Center, Nevada Seismological Laboratory, and is part of the Nevada System of Higher
Education. Through a commitment to world-improving research, student success and outreach
benefiting the communities and businesses of Nevada, the University has impact across the
state and around the world. For more information, visit www.unr.edu.

Media Contacts

Kathy O’Day
VP Marketing,
Communications & Business
Identification
Lynker
703-244-4892
koday@lynker.com

Kelsey Fitzgerald
Science Writer – DRI
Reno, NV 89512
775-741-0496
Kelsey.fitzgerald@dri.edu

Mike Wolterbeek
Communications Officer
University of Nevada,
Reno/108
Reno, NV 89557
775-784-4547
mwolterbeek@unr.edu

Lynker is a 6X Awardee on Inc 5000 List!

Lynker has made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America, for the 6th year in a row!  Congrats to our Team!

Lynker Wins Two NOAA OCM Contracts!

Lynker wins two OCM Technical Support Services contracts! We are excited to be able to continue our support to NOAA’s National Ocean Service, Office for Coastal Management (OCM) providing services including Application and Data Services, IT Infrastructure Support, Management and Administration, Finance, Facilities and Security, Geospatial Support, Social Science, Training, Fellowships, and Communications and Outreach.

Photo Credit: NOAA

Lynker Staff Receive CO-OPS Director’s Awards

We are proud of our Lynker staff who received the CO-OPS Director’s Awards for 2021! These awards are given to superior individuals and teams who demonstrate achievement in advancing CO-OPS strategic goals.

Congratulations to Lynker’s…
•    Edward Davis & Analise Keeney on The HAB (Harmful Algal Bloom) Team for receiving the Team Award for Leadership
•    Julia Engdahl for the Individual Award for Professional Excellence
•    Mojgan Rostaminia, Ph.D. for the Team Award for Scientific & Technical Excellence
•    Nicole Kruz for the Individual Award for Customer Service
•    Mark Hafez, Vuai David, Shaena R., & Max Ivanov, the Chesapeake Instruments Lab members who won the team award for Customer Service
•    Analise Keeney for the Individual Award for Employee Engagement

Jaci Crossman Awarded NMFS Team Member of the Year!

Congratulations to Lynker’s Jacquelyn Crossman for being selected as the NOAA NMFS 2020 Team Member of the Year! Jaci’s exceptional support providing online access to references and developing a digital archive for hundreds of photographs and publications under mandatory work-from-home conditions due to the global pandemic led to this National Marine Fisheries award. Way to go Jaci!

Lynker Wins NOAA MCD Contract

Lynker is thrilled to have won a 5-year contract with NOAA National Ocean Service Marine Chart Division (MCD) called Geographic Information System Software Solutions and Development! Services we’ll be providing include GIS, Web and Cloud Consulting Services, Management, Training, and System Support Activities at the NOAA HQ in Silver Spring, MD.

Photo Credit: NOAA

Nate Murry Awarded Team Member of the Month!

Congratulations to Lynker’s Nathan Murry for receiving NOAA’s Team Member of the Month at the National Ocean Service! Nate has continuously found ways to improve processes like single-handedly developing a VDatum Oceanographic/Geodetic Assessment Tool — a web map that layers copious amounts of data to pinpoint optimal locations for water level observing systems. This tool has significantly improved collection of oceanographic data. Nate also developed a Contaminated Water and Dive Safety web tool that uses datasets from NOAA, EPA, and state monitoring programs to assess localized contamination risks for scuba divers handling NOAA work. Nate has created a suite of software that substantially furthers NOAA’s mission for years to come.

Lynker Donates Consulting Support to Rural Uganda

Lynker’s water resources staff donated consulting support to Kanaama Interactive Community Support (KICS), a nonprofit seeking to expand access to safe water to a rural Ugandan sub-county. Lynker scientists collected and mapped current water access and climatological data, worked with KICS staff to obtain water quality samples and analyzed economically viable technical solutions. The work culminated in an ArcGIS StoryMap, a visual narrative that walks through existing water sources, community perspectives, solutions, and recommendations.  Click here for more information https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/4ec32b8df6bc427ebadc5c3c383f5f2e

Amy Berman Receives Prestigious Margaret Davidson Award!

Congratulations to Lynker’s Amy Berman for receiving the prestigious Margaret A Davidson Award!

The Margaret Adelia Davidson (MAD) Award recognizes Office for Coastal Management employees that embody and model the values embraced by Margaret Davidson. These values include:

  • Innovation (New Ideas or Approaches and Risk Taking)
  • Extreme Networking and Partnership (Creating New or Unique Connections and Maintaining Existing Ones)
  • Challenging the Norm (Speaking Up for Positive Change; Not Standing on Dogma)
  • Motivating and Mentoring Others
  • Random Acts of Kindness and Caring

Estimating the Value of NOAA’s Digital Coast

The Digital Coast, a NOAA-hosted platform containing data, tools, training, and more, is a valuable resource communities use to address coastal issues. Lynker team members support NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management to create and maintain these resources and provide technical support to the communities that rely on them. Up until this point, staff have depended on testimonies from users to measure the worth of everything the Digital Coast has to offer. While these accounts do a great job of showcasing the variety of issues the Digital Coast can help to mitigate, they can’t put a dollar value on what this website provides. 

Resources for the Future, a nonprofit organization, recently developed a report—The Societal Value of NOAA’s Digital Coast—indicating just how valuable this platform is. Research techniques included case studies, literature reviews, and examinations of typical uses; one study alone estimates that a one-time use of the Sea Level Rise Viewer to move critical infrastructure yielded societal benefits of $1.1 million to $2.2 million. Another study estimates that trainings yield benefits of $1.8 to $9.7 million annually—concluding, collectively, that the Digital Coast offers “considerable demonstrated value to the public across its variety of programs.”  We’re so proud of all of our Lynker team members working to support this platform every day!