So, Friday was an awesome day! Alex and I got together… and the HVW team met with the folks from the Mohonk Preserve. A few weeks ago, they shared their February recap on our Facebook page. After taking a look (and geeking out), Alex and I were able to set up a meeting to see what they do, and if there were any opportunities for us to work together. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and it turned out to be an awesome experience.
First off… the Conservation Science team are some truly cool people. It’s not often that you find people who truly love what they do for a living. They explained all of the research and data recording they do. Not just the weather, but tracking lake acidity, lake ice thickness (in winter), rainfall acidity, bird migration patterns… too many things to mention. It’s really quite fascinating, the size and scope of the research they do. With 120 years of data… they have been analyzing the changes our area has seen, in the form of hard data. When acid rain became a global concern in the 1980s, the team at Mohonk was instrumental in helping measure the rainfall acidity, and comparing it to what had been observed in years past. Pretty cool stuff!
Next, they took us on a tour of the facilities, showing us everything from rain gauges, to where they have recorded the maximum and minimum temperatures for the past 120 years. Sure… it probably sounds pretty boring to many of you, but to Alex and me, we were like kids in a candy store… asking dozens of questions, and soaking it all in. As a couple of guys who love the weather, seeing the setup that has been in place for 120 years was pretty awesome. How things have been done in virtually the same way, so as to make sure the only variable that was changing, was the weather being observed. When you’re trying to get a truly accurate picture of history, you have to make sure the way you recorded data 100 years ago, is the same way you record it today. Change the location of your instruments, or put a new building next to a temperature sensor, and someone may try and call your data into question. At Mohonk… this isn’t a concern, because things have been done the same way… every day… for 120 years!
We spent about 3 hours getting a tour of the facilities, and discussing all the various work they do. I suppose one of the cool things to Alex and I, was that they were just as excited to meet with us… as we were to meet with them. It was just a really enjoyable day. We look forward to working with them on some projects in the future, and hopefully we can help shine a light on the work they are doing. It’s pretty neat stuff.
Ok… enough nerding out for one night. After all, it was a long weekend, what with hanging out with family and what not. But before I go, here’s a selfie Alex took of he and I, along with part of the team from Mohonk. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to meet with the HVW team… we all had a blast!