751: Mike Crimmins and Gary Woodard on Logging the Rain.

Collecting rainfall information in a cooperative community project.

In This Podcast:

Rainlog.org is one of the coolest Citizen science projects available.  Simply purchase a rain gauge create an account and track your rain.  Join Farmer Greg as he chats with the creators of the site.  Mike Crimmins and Gary Woodard came together 20 years ago to track rural rainfall in Arizona and their project has expanded worldwide and includes millions of readings.   

Our Guests:

Mike is on the faculty of the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona and is an Extension Specialist in Climate Science for Arizona Cooperative Extension. He has been in this role for 18 years  working with ranchers, farmers and natural resource managers across Arizona to integrate climate information in their planning and decision making and assisting them in developing strategies to adapt to a changing climate.

Gary has more than 40 years of experience in municipal water resource issues both a consultant, and as a researcher at the University of Arizona. He specializes in integrating economic analysis with water resources issues, providing a critical bridge often missing from policy decisions. He works on projects that involve modeling municipal water demand, forecasting trends, evaluating the impacts of drought and climate change on water demand, rainwater harvesting, and assessing water conservation programs.

Together they have developed an incredible citizen science data collection page called Rainlog.org

Listen in and learn about:

  • The history of Rainlog
  • Why it was created
  • Where the data was collected
  • What the data was used for
  • and interesting stories like a call from an attorney who was trying to prove it rained
  • learn how you can get involved

We came to realize if you have two citizen scientists who live within a block of each other, and if they report the same amount of rain that’s rock solid, that may be more reliable than an official gauge. — Gary Woodard

  • A couple failures – A Rainlog system failure and the passionate response from participants.  And a participant trying to enter an 11″ daily rain event
  • Rainlog success – It is almost TWENTY years old
  • Their drive – They are both weather geeks and data nerds – they really enjoy collecting and sharing data
  • Advice from Mike – Don’t be shy about citizen science projects
  • Advice from Gary – If you are an avid gardener, you need to rethink annual dates for planting.

Book recommendations:     


How to reach Mike or Gary or join Rainlog:  

  • Website: Rainlog.org – use the contact button.
  • Email: crimmins@arizona.edu or gary.c.woodard@gmail.com


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