Pink snow algae research grows for Western Washington University

We’ve all seen snow turn from white to gray and black, maybe a ruddy brown color when it has been sitting next to a busy road or sidewalk. We’ve seen snow take different shapes and appearances depending on temperatures and ice crystal shapes.

But have you ever seen pink snow? Sometimes it is called Watermelon snow because of the soft pink color. 

The Kodner Lab at Western Washington University actively studies and documents pink snow blooms using modern DNA sequencing techniques to characterize species along with tracking changes over time. It has been noted that when the algae bloom, they appear to be helping the snow melt faster.

From scientists at the Kodner lab, the Living Snow Project began specifically to study this algae species to learn more about it.

If you are interested in the snow microbiome across mountain ranges the Living Snow Project with help from citizen scientists, volunteers and people who love to play in the mountains can participate by contacting the Living Snow Project through their Instagram, Twitter, or website.

When we have the Mariners Weather Education Day, May 25th at T-Mobile Park, The Living Snow Project will be joining us to make one of the presentations. We’d love to see you there!

For more information on the Living Snow Project through Western Washington University, here are a few ways to contact, shown in the photo.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 10:06am