During the Spring 2023 Research Experience, Jayna Palmer enrolled in hopes of studying snow science, largely impacting her hometown of Truckee, California. After being matched with her mentor John Lewis, a research meteorologist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory and Desert Research Institute, Jayna and John got to work pursuing one of her three research questions, all pertaining to snow in the Sierra Nevada. In early October, Jayna presented her research at the International Snow Science Workshop in Bend, Oregon and is gearing up for more presentations later this year.
A Truckee local, Jayna has grown up in the snow and it plays an important role in her life. “Snow has always been a major component in my life, living on Donner Summit, and skiing since I could walk. I’ve always been surrounded by it. Growing up, my dad taught me and my sister how to ski, and more recently has gotten me interested in backcountry skiing, avalanche safety, and the broader snow science. This is what really led me to wanting to research snow science and this project.” Her research, titled Using the Markov Process to Forecast Yearly Snowfall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains was recently published in the Headwaters Student Journal. Mentored by John Lewis, Jayna applied the Markov Process and discovered that the relative snowfall prediction for 2024 was relatively small based on the three models (Palmer, Lewis, 2023). Snow is always on the mind for Truckee locals and Palmer quantified many other factors, be sure to check out her full article in the Headwaters Science Institute Student Research Journal Volume 5 Issue 4.
Student Research Journal
Jayna shared about her experience:
“ISSW was one of the raddest experiences ever. I learned a lot about snow science from the presenters, and also about scientific conferences and the processes of real-world research. I met snow and science professionals, and got to share conversations with grad-students, learning about their educational experiences- as I’m starting to think about what I will study in college. Overall, I had a great time presenting my work, learned a lot, and met a ton of amazing people.”
Great work Jayna, we can’t wait to see where you go next!
Data Analyst and Research Experience Program Manager