By Tshering Ongmu Sherpa
Community-based rainfall measurement (CORAM) program organized a discussion program on daily rainfall measurement in Nepal via citizen science: data collection and analysis in Kathmandu today.
The discussion program was attended by high school students and teachers from schools participating in CORAM network and students from Tribhuvan University.
CORAM is a community based citizen science program hosted by Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences (KIAS) and supported by a number of national and international organizations and individuals such as University of Wyoming, USA, RECHAM consult, Nepal. It works in close coordination with department of hydrology and meteorology (DHM), government of Nepal, ISET-Nepal, and central department of hydrology and meteorology (CDHM), Tribhuvan University (TU). Started in 2015 summer, CORAM currently has a network of 35 rainfall measuring stations, primarily in Kathmandu. Most of the stations are operated by high school students with the help from their teachers. Student collected rainfall data is recorded and collected at CORAM’s central data bank and made available to public.
The discussion program held at Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikutimandap, was chaired by Prof. Dr. Deepak Aryal, head of CDHM and DG of DHM was the chief guest. Dr. Basant Giri, Chairman of CORAM program highlighted the program and welcomed all participants. Then, program director of CORAM Mr. Suresh Marahatta, also a professor at Trichandra College, TU, gave presentation on overall rainfall data collection via CORAM program and also showed some results. Meanwhile Mr. Sagun Dhungana shows the use of ODK system for real time rainfall data collection and transmission. Mr. Jeffery Davids, PhD student at TU Delft, the Netherlands gave an overview of cost effective hydrological/meteorological instruments and data collection system. The formal program ended with an presentation on importance of citizen science on water research by Mr. Ajaya Dixit, executive director of ISET-Nepal.
In next session, students and teachers from participating schools shared experience on their involvement in CORAM program and measuring rainfall everyday. Discussions were focused on the timing and regularity of data collection, relation between climate change and rainfall, trend of rainfall in Nepal, accuracy of data, and implications of the data collected among others.
Students later on visited the weather forecasting division of DHM at Tribhuvan International Airport and observed weather forecasting process including instruments used to collect necessary data. Visit to the control room showed and explained the science behind weather predictions.