Public Lab Research note

Northeast Tool-focused Barnraising: June 6-8, 2014

by Hudonnoodles | April 30, 2014 15:27 30 Apr 15:27 | #10383 | #10383

What is a Public Lab Barnraising?

This is the closest thing we have to a Public Lab conference -- but with an emphasis on "doing stuff together" rather than just presenting/talking. In the spirit of bringing a community together to collectively raise a structure such as a barn, Public Lab comes together to develop tools, toolkits, supporting materials such as guides and tutorials, test the tools and develop new research directions and projects. Participants represent a wide range of interests from technologists and designers to social ""scientists"" and community organizers. The annual Fall Barnraising is held in Louisiana each year. In 2014, we’ve introducing a second Spring Barnraising into our event schedule. The Spring Barnraisings will be in different locations each year and focus on specific environmental issues or tool development projects.

What is the 2014 Tool-focused Barnraising?

The 2014 tool-focused Barnraising is a regional version of a Public Lab Barnraising and this year will be held in Massachusetts. We are planning a 2-night / 3-day conference for 25-30 individuals from Public Lab’s existing Northeast community, including representatives from five (5) local environmental justice organizations that are interested in incorporating community science into their programs. Together, we will engage in research and tool development around environmental justice issues of water quality. In particular, we will refine our sampling protocols for identifying oil in water using DIY spectroscopy, and defining thermal plumes from power plants with temperature sensors. Aerial mapping may play a supporting role in testing these approaches to water quality research.

More details here:

Where is the 2014 Tool-focused Barnraising?

Our choice of location is Massachusetts’ South Shore due to its proximity to our existing research sites at Pilgrim Nuclear Station, Tidmarsh Farm, Jones River Watershed, and Cape Cod Bay Watch.

When is the 2014 Tool-focused Barnraising?

Events start on the afternoon of Friday, June 6th and wrap up on the afternoon of Sunday, June 8

What is the proposed agenda?

Friday, June 6 -- Homebase, Tidmarsh Farm Group arrives at housing accommodations, Introductions / Meet & Greet, Overview of weekend agenda and toolset, Discuss goals for the weekend, & Breakout discussions and pre-site visit hacks.

4PM: Arrive at Tidmarsh Farm. Due to Friday Cape Traffic, we urge everyone to arrive before 5PM. 6:00PM: Community Potluck Dinner at Jones River Landing. This is an opportunity to meet community members and discuss Public Lab's work in Plymouth over the weekend.

Saturday, June 7 -- Site Visit #1, Jones River Watershed Introduction to the area including history, background on environmental concerns and goals for the day.

--Workshop A-- Toolset Workshop: Riffles Activities: Prepare Riffles for testing, test tools & gather data (tow riffles and measure temperature and mark GPS), review data, and document findings

--Workshop B-- Toolset Workshop: Thermal fishing bob. Activities: Prepare Thermal fishing bobs for testing, test tools & gather data (tow thermal fishing bobs in water), review data, and document findings

--Workshop C-- Toolset Workshop: Oil Testing & Spectroscopy Activities: Gather samples from the site, test samples and document data

--Workshop D-- Toolset Workshop: Kite Building & Mapping Activities: Prepare kite and camera, test tools and gather data

Sunday, June 8 -- Site Visit #2, Tidmarsh Farm Introduction to the area including history, background on environmental concerns and goals for the day

--Group Workshop-- Toolset Workshop: Kite & Balloon Mapping Activities: Prepare kites and camera for testing, test tools, gather data: fly camera and infrared cameras over site

For more information, check out Tab 1/Calendar on our planning Google Doc.

Sign-up form

Please fill out the required information on this form. Before we move forward, we need to collect information about how many people plan on attending and what kind of accommodations are needed. Additionally, you should sign up to to receive up-to-date information and participate in planning discussions.

Travel Coordination & Accommodations

Tidmarsh Farm has generously donated their guest house for the weekend which can accommodate 15-20 people. It has 3 floors with 3 bedrooms, 2 big sofas, a bunkbed and plenty of space for sleeping bags and air mattresses. There's also the option of camping outside for people who are comfortable in a tent. If even more people decide to come, we have other nearby options. Once we know how many people are committed to coming, we'll be able to figure out where people are sleeping and what works best, keeping in mind comfort levels.

More information to come soon, but here's a lovely picture of the area in which we'll be setting up our home base.



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