What I want to do
I want to build diy/open source tools to assist research into impacts of invasive aquatic species, specifically the European Green Crab, on coastal communities in the northeastern U.S. The research is a component of a broad campaign being documented on a dedicated project wiki- .http://publiclab.org/wiki/developing-tools-for-mapping-invasive-species-in-harpswell-maine
Why I'm interested
The Harpswell Coastal Academy, in Harpswell Maine is currently performing field research to determine the impacts of European Green Crab infestations on coastal communities. The HCA Makerspace has been working with students and the civic hacking community to develop low cost tools to further the overall project goals. Students are currently performing field tests in two "tidal clam flat" locations in which they will be taking measurements of pH, temperature, salinity and other water quality indicators.
The #grassroots-mapping work on this site is highly relevant and we have taken steps throughout the year to prepare materials for DIY mapping via weather balloon/Kite and even a small RC Quadcopter should the need arise. Early experiments in DIY mapping have been documented in an earlier research note- http://publiclab.org/notes/code4maine/10-07-2013/diy-time-machine. We have access to a wide variety of camera options including Raspberry Pi's with both standard and NoIR variants. At present the only barrier to deploying a balloon mapper is scheduling a date/time to obtain permission to access the sites, rent a helium tank and ensure adequate weather conditions. The issue of weather is also the subject of a recent research note at- http://publiclab.org/notes/code4maine/05-06-2014/simple-weather-alert-web-app-for-grassroots-mappers.
Active Aerial Photo/Mapping Projects
Another area of interest is in the potential for developing low cost sensor platforms using arduino, Raspberry Pi, UDOO, OpenWRT etc... At present we are in the "Lit Review" stage, in order to analyze existing projects on which we can build upon. The Open Water Projects own Lit Review has been a great resource already.
Active Sensor Projects
While the students have access to iPads provided by the Maine Learning Technology Initiative the lack of network access requires that they must take GPS readings manually. We are examining the possibility of deploying a field mesh sensor networks via routers flashed with Commotion Wireless We are also examining the potential for developing our own mobile app using the Sensr Platform.
Active Mobile App Development
Questions and next steps
We would like to make an open call to citizen scientists, grassroots mappers, civic hackers/makers etc... to help us gather relevant resources before we begin development of the sensor platforms. Likewise, assistance with the mapping imagery will be greatly appreciated once it is collected.