University of Vermont

UVM Field Work in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Snowcloud group

Members of the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) Frozen Landscapes Projecthave just completed field work in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. This Project is part of Snowcloud, an environmental engineering project that involves the creation of wireless sensor network architecture for environmental monitoring in cold climates

´╗┐Drs. Chris Skalka (Computer Science) and Jeff Frolik (Electrical Engineering) travelled with UVM graduate students Sam Ogden and Sarah Greenberg (Computer Science), and Chris Tardie (Electrical Engineering), to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to deploy their environmental sensor system that will generate data to study the effects of climate change in the high desert environment of the Eastern Sierra Mountains. The Frozen Landscapes Project took a year to organize at UVM and was done in collaboration with VT Technical College, and UC Santa Cruz (the lead for the environmental science component of the project).

The project involved the creation of multiple sensor stands that collect data on snow depth, soil moisture, and leaf area index. The team also constructed a "gateway" station designed to collect and report data through the Internet. The system is wireless and self-sustaining, and will report data throughout the winter.

The members of this group are interested in a wide range of technologies applicable to ad-hoc wireless sensor networks and their applications. Their projects deal with languages, architectures and algorithms to characterize and improve the performance of these systems. The group is also involved in developing real-world deployments for applications having interdisciplinary interest.

To view pictures and slideshow of field trip visit:

For more information on this research visit:

Contact: Associate Professor, Christian Skalka,