Public Lab Research note

Cartography Primer at Phats Valley Residency, Cape Cod

by wward1400 | October 09, 2013 16:42 09 Oct 16:42 | #9429 | #9429


MassDEP Wetland and Wetland Change Areas

What we want to do

Cartography Primer is a workshop series that will investigate the site and surrounding land of Phats Valley Residency through mapping and exploratory exercises.

Lead a balloon mapping workshop to collect visible and Infragram imagery for the marsh and land around Pamet Marsh with Phats Valley Residency, a land-based residency program in Truro, MA, in support of land or ecology-based artistic and creative research projects by providing a space to work and a place to explore.

Ann Chen was following up from a workshop at World Science Festival workshop and Science Hack Day NYC. She is starting a land-based artist residency program in Cape Cod with a friend, at his family's summer house. The mission is to support artists, scientists, writers, architects/designers, who are interested in doing research or projects that involve the house or surrounding area.

As part of the launch of the program, Phats Valley Residency is doing a series of workshops that will map out the historical and ecological geography of the area. These workshops will introduce the resident artist to the area, before the start of their residency, but also function as ticketed events where we can raise money for the artist's stipend. The first artist in residency, Colin McMullan, will be going up and leading a foraging tour. We wanted to add on one more activity and thought about doing a balloon mapping event. The property is situated next to a marsh. Railroad tracks, long disused, cut across the property and the marsh, essentially cutting off a section of the marsh, transforming it into a freshwater environment. A hurricane in the 90s, created a breach in the tracks, and since then, the tracks have been slowly eroding into the marsh, returning the area to its former saltwater conditions. This has been slowly changing the ecosystem and the vegetation. We want to capture images of the area, particularly with the near-infrared camera, to start documenting these slow changes in the environment.

2010_circa_Pamet_Marsh_Ecological_Health_study_area_Google.png Pamet Marsh and Pamet River at a Railroad Breach

First attempt

Cartography Primer We are planning to map at low tide on October 12 to gather visible and Infragram imagery of the Pamet Marsh.


Questions and next steps

An image of US-6 intersecting the Pamet River.
How has the breach of a former railroad changed the hydrology of Pamet River and Pamet Marsh?
Where is salt marsh accreting? eroding?
What are the seasonal patterns of coastal erosion and accretion?
What are the seasonal patterns of the head of tide?
What pattern does the Pamet River have around US-6 and Pamet Road?
Additional questions, ideas, and direction posed by Eymund:
Monitor slow changes in the environment 1. Rail Impact on Salinity 2. Plant types found will show changes in water chemistry 3. Early Residences Show Freshwater Supplies 4. Landfilling of Typical Transit Nodes 5. Social Ecology and Shadows of Time


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