‘The Crowd & The Cloud’ features CoCoRaHS citizen science

Note to Reporters: Links to story, related short videos at CSU news site, Source: http://col.st/7KPOH

FORT COLLINS – A new, four-episode public television series, “The Crowd & The Cloud,” highlights the Colorado Climate Center’s signature citizen science movement, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network – better known as CoCoRaHS. The Colorado Climate Center is part of Colorado State University.

All episodes of "The Crowd & The Cloud” are available to watch online. CoCoRaHS is featured in episode 1, titled "Even Big Data Starts Small." The series will also air on public television’s World Channel at 7 p.m. Mountain (9 p.m. Eastern), Thursday, April 6. Check the World channel website for local availability. 

Hosted by Waleed Abdalati, director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at University of Colorado-Boulder, the series explores and celebrates the revolutionary power of citizen science. Together, average citizens collecting data en masse can help efforts to combat flooding, drought, pollution and more. Watch a trailer.

Gauging rain

CoCoRaHS, a network of more than 20,000 precipitation spotters, was founded by the Colorado Climate Center in 1998 following a devastating flood in Fort Collins. To participate, citizens young and old use backyard rain gauges to report daily measurements on the CoCoRaHS website. The data collected by CoCoRaHS observers have been used by meteorologists, natural resource planners, farmers, fishermen, insurance adjusters, and many more.

“CoCoRaHS started as a local effort to help scientists study storms and precipitation patterns here in northern Colorado,” says Nolan Doesken, Colorado State Climatologist and CoCoRaHS founder. “It has since expanded into an international program with thousands of passionate, dedicated citizens, and together we have had a real and profound effect on publicly available weather information and how we understand everything from floods to drought.”

Live post-premiere roundtable April 6

The show’s social media team will live-tweet during its April 6 premiere using #CrowdCloudLIVE. Join producer Geoff Haines-Stiles, series host Abdalati, and CoCoRaHS staff on Facebook at 8 p.m. Mountain (10 p.m. Eastern) for a post-premiere roundtable discussion.

Producers of “The Crowd and the Cloud” also created short videos to support CoCoRaHS’ “March Madness,” campaign, in which states compete for the largest numbers of new observers every March.