The Living Snow Project

Help us study snow algae blooms! Our dataset, built by students, scientists, and community members working together, and is helping us study how snow algae blooms change over time, as mountain habitats experience warming.

Support the Living Snow Project!

Our mission is to build the largest single snow microbiome dataset in the world with the help of local community volunteers who are visiting alpine areas and make observations and collect samples of pink and red snow.  This data creates a baseline for understanding the extent of snow algae blooms over space and time, and enables us to study how mountain ecosystems are changing in the face of climate change.  It also gives local communities an opportunity to take action and contribute to the kind of research scientists can't do without the help of the community. 

 Honu Pata, WWU Biology Major

Funds raised through this campaign are used for supplies for sample kits, support for student interns, and help cover costs to generate data.

Giving makes the research we do at the Living Snow Project possible while providing students with meaningful research and programmatic experience. 

Our interns play a crucial role in running and growing the Living Snow Project. 

Thank you for considering giving to our project; every gift and share makes a difference!  Its costs about $5 to make a sample kit in our lab and it costs about $20 to sequence the DNA in a sample.

What is "living snow"?

Have you ever seen snow turn pink in the spring and summer in the mountains?  That pink snow is actually a community of microbes specifically adapted to live in snow, and are supported by microalgae that give the pink or red color. The algae's dark color increases the rate of snow and ice melt, which are a stress on the rapidly receding glaciers of the Cascades Mountains. 

We run The Living Snow Project is run out of the Kodner Lab at WWU. Community volunteers assist in our research by collecting samples for us when traveling in the mountains on skiing, climbing, and hiking trips. See the project website and our Instagram to learn more about what we do or if you are interested in getting involved! 


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