Stories in the Snow

Stories in the Snow – A Citizen Science Project

Stories in the Snow is a citizen science project that harnesses the enthusiasm and potential of community members to fuel scientists’ understanding of the atmospheric conditions in the Sierra Nevada mountains and anywhere it snows. Equipped with a smartphone, a magnifier lens, and freshly fallen snow, citizen scientist participants collect visual data by capturing stunning and revealing photographs of snow crystals – images that offer scientists a valuable glimpse into the operation of the region’s climate.

DRI is pioneering an exciting and unique approach to the science of snow. The Stories in the Snow project engages community members as “citizen scientists” in real data collection and research throughout the Sierra Nevada and beyond.

Stories in the Snow Kit

Every snowflake is unique, and the shape of the freshly-fallen crystals can tell us about real-time atmospheric conditions. Using smartphone technology, you can help track the path a snowflake has taken through the atmosphere. The science of snowflakes is nearly as intricate as the shapes of the snowflakes themselves.

Here’s a step by step guide to getting started with Stories in the Snow:

1. Obtain a “Stories in the Snow” kit with a macro lens and snow crystal card via our crowdfunding campaignSubscribe to our email list for updates!

2. On your smartphone, search “Citizen Science Lake Tahoe” and download the App from either the Apple Store or Google Play.

3. Like “Stories in the Snow” on Facebook and follow @StoriesintheSnow on Instagram.

4. Watch the How-to video on our website to learn how to collect snow crystal images.

5. Take a picture with your phone and macro lens, and upload it to the app!

That’s it. Have fun!

Meghan Collins – Stories in the Snow Education Lead
Assistant Research Scientist Environmental Science
Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV
Phone: 775.673.7659
CV/Bio: Meghan Collin

Eric Holmes
Education Project Lead
Office of Education
Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV
Phone: 775-673-7435


Meghan Collins, M.S.
Education Lead


Desert Research Institute
2215 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512


Office of Education

stories in the snow