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Home arrow Experts arrow Glenn Letham arrow RinkWatch, where backyard skating and pond hockey meets environmental science     

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RinkWatch, where backyard skating and pond hockey meets environmental science E-mail
Experts - Glenn Letham
Written by @gletham   
21 January 2013

As a child growing up in Canada, there's no question that skating outdoors in backyard ice rinks and playing pond hockey were a huge  source of fun and ate up most of my evenings and week-ends.. In 2012 a group of scientists from Wilfrid Laurier University in Montreal warned that the number of annual outdoor skating days is shrinking due to climate change... this was the inspiration for launching RinkWatch.

Think of RinkWatch as your rink diary - From the scientists... "We want Canadians from coast to coast to coast to tell us about their rinks. We want you to pin the location of your rink on our map, and then each winter record every day that you are able to skate on it... We will gather up all the information from all the backyard rinks across Canada, and use it to track the changes in our climate. The RinkWatch website will give you regular updates on the results. You will be able to compare the number of skating days at your rink with rinks elsewhere in Canada, and find out who is having the best winter for skating this year."

Users will be joining a growing league of citizen-scientists from every province and territory in Canada (and hopefully some of our American neighbors as well)

Visitors to the site will be greeted by a map (via Google maps) showing locations of user provided rinks, all categorized as currently being skatable or non-skatable (due to weather). With each rink you'll find a brief description and hopefully a photo as well. Additionally, the site provides weather charts that reveal temperature trends and a corresponding graph showing the useability of skating rinks

And so, a request for you backyard rink makers to join. Also, e sure to tell your friends and social networks about RinkWatch. The more users, the better the results. Second, if youíre a kid, tell your folks youíre joining RinkWatch - you can follow Rinkwatch on Twitter @RinkWatchOrg

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