Community Engagement - Direct Service

Automated Cloud Collection System at the Summit
NYS DEC trailer and Mesonet site

Serving The Greater Good "of, by and for the People"

NWS COOP Rain Gauge As part of the National Weather Service (NWS) Burlington, Vermont Weather Forecast Office (WFO) Cooperative Observer Program (COOP), the ASRC Whiteface mountain field station provides daily rainfall totals recorded at the Marble Mountain lodge. Data is collected every morning and is recorded on the COOP website. COOP data is freely available and provides valuable information to a wide variety of stakeholders including public utilities, agriculture, and recreation and tourism. The data is especially important to the NWS for short−term forecasting of severe weather events as well as for long−term evaluation of climate change.

Organizations such as the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism recognize that climate change is already impacting the economic sustainability of the Whiteface region, so by providing this service ASRC and the University at Albany recognize the importance of providing leadership in climate change education and information.

Serving The Local Community

ASRC Whiteface mountain staff provide valuable services, all on a volunteer basis, to local committees, organizations, and other State and public entities. Being actively engaged serves a dual purpose. First, we can educate the public on the Strategic Plan and mission of the University at Albany and ASRC to show how the work that takes place at the field station enhances the scientific capacity and resiliency of New York State for all citizens. Secondlyand information available to them so that they have a better understanding and appreciation for the value that it provides to them.

Paul Casson, the ASRC Whiteface mountain field station Site Manager, serves as Vice President of the Whiteface Mountain Regional Visitors Bureau. The Bureau promotes the development of tourism in and around Whiteface Mountain, as well as supporting and sustaining local businesses. As an active member of the Visitors Bureau, he has promoted new ideas to educate the local community as well tourists who are vital to the economic sustainability of the region. This as increased the visibility and importance of ASRC as well as the University at Albany to building community partnerships that provide lasting mutual benefits.

Weather & Mountain Information

ASRC Cloud Water Collector Weather on and around Whiteface mountain can be very unpredictable, especially in winter, and thus very dangerous to life and infrastructure on the mountain. The field station provides real−time meteorological data, including temperature/wind chill and wind speed/direction, to hikers, skiers, and visitors to the mountain. Weather Wall

Working closely with the The Wild Center Natural History Museum, in Tupper Lake, NY, we developed mountain and weather information displays for public education and use. A cloud water collector, designed and developed by ASRC scientists, is on display on the first floor of the summit observatory, and a "Weather Wall" display is available in the Marble Mountain Lodge, which provides "up−to−date" weather maps and mountain meteorological data.

Mountain Saftey

Paul Casson Alpine Ski Patrol (Left) Paul Casson, ASRC Whiteface Mountain Field Station Site Manager, with Whiteface in background. Mr. Casson has also served for 10 years on the Alpine Ski Patrol at the ORDA (Olypmic Regional Development Authority) run Whiteface Mountain Ski Center.

The field station hosts the annual National Ski Patrol avalanche training, held at the Marble Mountain lodge facility. Skier Triggered Avalanche on Whiteface, 2018 Although not as high as its Swiss Alp cousins, Whiteface does experience natural and skier triggered avalanches, and being prepared for those events is important to all organizations associated with the mountain.

When available, Paul also assists New York State Forest Rangers and ORDA staff with on mountain rescues. His vast knowledge of the ski center and mountain is a valuable asset and his service is key to supporting the missions of these important New York State agencies. Search & Rescue Training

Antenna Icing at Summit (Left) Heavy rime ice accumulation on radio antenna equipment at the summit of Whiteface. Several agencies operate radio antennas that are installed within the summit observatory infrastructure on Whiteface Mountain. This includes New York State agencies: Olympic Regional Development Authority, Department of Homeland Security, State Police, Department of Environmental Conservation, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services, and Department of Corrections. In addition, the Federal agencies: Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation also operate radio towers at the summit. Rime ice accretion can cause damage to antennas as well as infrastructure and is a hazard to the public. ASRC Whiteface Mountain field station staff de-ice the antennas to protect partner equipment as well as the saftey of mountain staff and visitors.