The Pensacola MESS Hall is recruiting members of the general public to become citizen scientists. Armed with phones and computers, these citizen scientists will gather observations about extreme precipitation. This information will be shared with local officials to help plan for a more resilient community that can withstand the increased precipitation and flooding expected from our changing climate.
The US is experiencing more heavy rainfalls than ever before. Each year, Pensacola has a 1% chance of receiving more than 16 inches of rain in a day. These 100-year rain events have occurred more frequently, resulting in flooding and significant infrastructure damage. By recording observations during extreme precipitation events, citizen scientists can highlight the areas most at risk.
“Citizen science is a collaboration between scientists and curious, concerned, and motivated people,” notes Megan Pratt, executive director of the Pensacola MESS Hall. “Documenting our observations about our changing environment helps us individually notice changes and provides information now and in the future about the local environment. This data can be used by planners to determine how best to meet the needs of our community.”
Interested individuals can participate by visiting https://SciStarter.org/NOAA-messhall to create an account and sign up for ISeeChange. Through this platform, individuals can document impacts they experience and see the observations of others.
This summer the Pensacola MESS Hall will compile the local observations to share with resiliency planners. Additionally, we invite concerned citizens across our community to join a nationwide virtual Extreme Precipitation Forum. Explore the social, economic, and environmental impacts of extreme precipitation, work with others to recommend resilience strategies, and learn how you can help inform scientists. The date of this forum will be finalized in the near future.
This program is presented in collaboration with Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, Museum of Science – Boston, National Informal STEM Education Network, Northeastern University, and SciStarter, with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.