Home » Fresh Eyes on Ice: The Promising NASA-Supported Initiative

Fresh Eyes on Ice: The Promising NASA-Supported Initiative

With the primary motive of evaluating global river ice conditions, the Fresh Eyes on Ice initiative looks to bring on a positive change.

by Febin
River with NASA logo

Fresh Eyes on Ice is a NASA-backed Initiative that looks to document river ice conditions worldwide. Environmental enthusiasts throughout the world can contribute to this project as it observes ice conditions for community safety and environmental change research. The project primarily focused on Alaskan lakes and rivers, with observations being carried out through field studies, remote sensing, cameras and buoys, historical data, community-based monitoring, and citizen science.

beautiful view of river ice

Fresh Eyes on Ice looks to be a boon for river ice safety

Picture credits : Microsoft designer

How did the NASA connection make a vast difference?

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is primarily behind the Fresh Eyes on Ice initiative. The National Science Foundation’s Arctic Observing Network also supported the project.

However, it was the additional support from NASA’s Citizen Science for Earth Systems Program that took the project to a whole new level, as it facilitated partnerships with the Tanana Chiefs Conference, National Weather Service Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center, the International Citizen and Community Science Program, Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE), and the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center Tribal Resilience Learning Network.

The idea behind the Fresh Eyes on Ice initiative

Together with their partners, the Fresh Eyes on Ice project aims to expand the capacity for app-based photo observation of ice conditions to support river ice safety, flood forecasting, a better understanding of the impacts of climate change, and long-term research on changing ice conditions.

The initiative also makes it necessary to ensure that the project meets the needs of our river communities and researchers through a thorough needs assessment process.

NASA Fresh Eyes on Ice

NASA’s involvement reaped several benefits for the project

Image credits: Microsoft designer

Steps to contribute to the Fresh Eyes on Ice initiative

Interested participants can contribute to the project by sharing their photo observations of river ice conditions through the GLOBE Observer App. The images could be of a freeze-up, open water leads, ice cover, ice melt, or even a breakup.

The following are the step-by-step procedures to take part in the project:

  • Download the GLOBE Observer App (Android/iOS) to your device.
  • Select the Land Cover protocol.
  • The app will guide you in taking photos directly up and directly down.
  • The app will guide you in taking photos in the four cardinal directions (North, East, South, and West). You will see a digital compass on your screen to help you align your photos. You may only need to take pictures in one or two directions to capture the water body.
  • In the field notes, type “Fresh Eyes on Ice.” That will help the app in retrieving observations.
  • In the field notes, also describe what are the details observed in the photographs.
  • Click the green button to send your observation to GLOBE.

You should also visit the following site to learn more about GLOBE Observer and the Landcover tool. In addition, adult supervision is advised for children below 13 using the app. Do follow guidelines from your local officials, and only participate in GLOBE activities or use the GLOBE Observer app if it is safe.

What lies ahead for the project?

The introduction of the Globe Observer app changes everything though, as it provides an opportunity for anyone around the world to contribute to the cause. Thus, not only does this provide a global platform for the project, but it also serves the purpose of allowing climate change and river ice enthusiasts to play a pivotal role in helping track river ice conditions across the globe.


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1 comment

Access control February 10, 2024 - 1:04 pm

“Well done!”


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