Research at the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory: History and hope

TitleResearch at the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory: History and hope
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1996
AuthorsKattelmann, R. C., Osterhuber R. J., McGurk B. J., and Berg N. H.
Conference Name64th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 64th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1996
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationBend, Oregon
KeywordsCSSL, History, Mt. Rose, Review

Snow studies on Donner Summit began in 1879 with the practical concerns of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Scientific work in the area was initiated by James Church to complement his research on Mt. Rose. Following World War Two, the Cooperative Snow Investigations of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and then-Weather Bureau chose Donner Summit as one of their 'snow laboratories'. Between 1945 and 1952, work at the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory generated much of our fundamental knowledge about snow physics and hydrology. Continuing research by the U.S. Forest Service and many cooperating agencies improved our understanding of forest-snow interactions, snow chemistry, physics ofwet snow, snowmelt modeling, and mountain climatology. The facility and its parent research program have lost funding for fiscal year 1996 and beyond. The current status of the transfer of the Snow Lab to the University of California's Natural Reserve System is discussed.