The new weather station was installed near the community garden at Aaniiih Nakoda College

Weather station installed at Aaniiih Nakoda College

Project update. Posted: June 13, 2017

In May, Native Waters on Arid Lands (NWAL) team member Dr. Richard Jasoni travelled to Harlem, MT to meet with project partners and to install a new weather station near the community garden at Aaniiih Nakoda College (ANC). The weather station, which officially went online June 1, 2017, will provide climate data for a student research project investigating the effects of different irrigation treatments on crops growing in the college’s community garden.

“The station measures air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, precipitation, soil temperature, soil moisture, and incoming light,” Jasoni explained. “So they’ll use the weather data along with the plant and soil data that they’re going to collect.”

Partners in research

The research project being conducted at ANC came about as part of NWAL’s new Faculty Research Partnership Program, which pairs research faculty from institutions such as the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno, NV with faculty from Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) in support of original student research projects. Goals of the program are to help establish new scientific research programs at TCUs, and to help students gain hands-on research experience that they can use to help local communities, pursue undergraduate or graduate work, or pursue any number of careers in their field of study.

During the pilot run of the program, Jasoni, an Associate Research Scientist at DRI, has been collaborating with Dr. Brian Grebliunas, an Instructor of Natural Resources/Environmental Science at ANC, to develop a summer student research project. Joel Doney, the student researcher, is a sophomore in the Environmental Science program at ANC and started his research internship at the end of May.

Over the next few months, Doney will work under the direction of Grebliunas, in collaboration with Jasoni, to test the effects of two irrigation treatments – one with high water, one with lower water – on the productivity of crops that will be planted in the community garden. In northern Montana, where ANC is located, planting normally occurs during the end of May or early June. As the project progresses, data from the new weather station will provide important information about growing conditions that Doney will use in his analysis.

How’s the weather?

Want to check the weather conditions at ANC? You can view some of the data from the new weather station on the Weather Underground website. This station is also part of a larger network of meteorological stations being installed around the Western US as part of the NWAL project.

Aaniiih Nakoda College: Photo gallery

Additional information