The Disparity of In-Situ Weather Stations on Indigenous Nations Versus State Lands in the United States

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Adams, Sophia
The National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and academic institutions operate a variety of in situ weather stations that monitor weather across the country. The purpose of this study is to identify if gaps exist in official U.S. observational weather networks on Indigenous nation land compared to state lands. The locations of weather stations from federally recognized, national weather station networks were plotted using qGIS. The difference in total number of weather stations across state and Indigenous designated land areas were then calculated using multiple linear regression. Results found that Indigenous nations were under-observed by a margin of 42% compared to state lands. Omitting outliers, land area and land designation (i.e. state vs. Indigenous nation) were highly correlated (r = 0.96) and the difference in spatial distribution of weather stations by land designation was statistically significant (p-values < 2.2x10-16). This means thatPrevious studies showed that implementing mesoscale observation networks could increase Indigenous participation in atmospheric science, which is sorely needed to diversify the science.