The Chippewa County Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) have a long-standing partnership and support of the Earth Team Volunteer Program. There are currently six volunteers who are rain gauge monitors in Chippewa County. Rain gauge monitors observe daily precipitation measurements and report them to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources State Climatology Office. The Climatology Program exists to gather, archive, manage, and disseminate historical climate data in order to address questions involving the impact of climate on Minnesota and its citizens.
A dedicated member of this volunteer group, Vince Smith, lived just north of Montevideo, MN in Sparta Township and was a long-time rain gauge monitor in Chippewa County. A majority of rain gauge monitors are warm-season volunteers, however, Vince put in the extra effort to report precipitation
throughout the winter months as well. Vince started as an Earth Team Volunteer and rain gauge monitor in 1977, the first year the SWCDs were involved in the rain gauge monitoring program. In addition to his time as a volunteer, Vince was also an active member of his community, he served in the National Guard, and was a member of the American Legion Post 59 of Montevideo.
When Vince became ill and passed away from pancreatic cancer in the spring of 2016, his neighbor, Rich Huber, who was named the 2001 Chippewa County SWCD Conservationist of the Year, volunteered to pick up where Vince left off just one mile away from Vince's home. This dedication from Vince and Rich means that the data collected in this area will remain seamless for years to come.
The NRCS would like to thank all of the rain gauge monitors who participate in the program and the Earth Team, your work and time is appreciated!
The Earth Team is the volunteer component of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. If you are interested in volunteering, contact your local NRCS office or visit: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/EarthTeam
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