Scientists at Western Washington University need your help collecting pink snow samples while you are out skiing, climbing, or hiking this spring and summer for The Living Snow Project. The project is studying snow algae communities using DNA samples from across the Cascades. Snow algae are pink or red cells that live in/on the snow and are often called ‘watermelon snow’. The algae's dark color increases the rate that snow and ice melt, which are a stress on the rapidly receding glaciers of the Cascades Mountains. They are recruiting volunteers now for the 2018 season. Collecting samples is super easy and sample kits won't take up much space in your pack. To sign up to participate, fill out a google form on the project website,, or email Dr. Robin Kodner at