IowaView Phenocams

grand-river-grassland

A View of the Grand River Grassland Phenocam

A phenocam is a digital camera that takes pictures at set intervals as a way to track the change in vegetation and climatic conditions throughout the year at a given location. The phenocam provides fixed scene, time-lapse images over the course of a year, which can then be analyzed for a variety of scientific uses, including seasonal changes such as spring “green-up” or fall “leaf-off.” IowaView had partnered with Dr. Diane Debinski and the Debinski Lab (Iowa State University – Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology) to install two phenocams at research sites in Iowa – Grand River Grassland and Wyoming – Grand Teton. The IowaView phenocams are part of a larger phenocam network across the USA and world.

A View from Grand Teton Phenocam

A View from Grand Teton Phenocam


 

A Photo Journal from the Grand Teton Phenocam Installation

Hole dug in glacial till 2ft wide, 3ft deep

A. Hole dug in glacial till
2ft wide, 3ft deep

Joe and Daniel affixing hardware that will hold solar panel to post. *Note: wooden stakes had been used to prop up pole while cement dried.*

B. Joe and Daniel affixing hardware that will hold solar panel to post. *Note: wooden stakes had been used to prop up pole while cement dried.*

 

Camera and solar panel showing cables looped prior to entering conduit to allow for condensation or precipitation to drip outside of conduit. We later used a zip tie to secure them together more tightly.

C. Camera and solar panel showing cables looped prior to entering conduit to allow for condensation or precipitation to drip outside of conduit. We later used a zip tie to secure them together more tightly.

Solar panel attached.

D. Solar panel attached.

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E. Audrey and Joe attaching conduit to post and feeding cables from conduit into box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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F. Toni shortening grounding rebar after it was pounded into the ground. Also shown is battery inside Mier box.

Conduit connection including metal and rubber components of weatherheads, to keep moisture out of conduit.

G. Conduit connection including metal and rubber components of weatherheads, to keep moisture out of conduit.

Proud installation crew. How many trips was that to the hardware store?

Proud installation crew. How many trips was that to the hardware store?

Notes from the Grand Teton Phenocam Installation

A team of Audrey McCombs (ISU), Toni Proescholdt (ISU), Joe Krienert (USGS), Daniel Gurganus (USGS), and Diane Debinski (ISU) installed a phenocam at Pilgrim Creek within Grand Teton National Park, WY on June 30-July 1, 2015.  We built upon previous protocol developed by Geneva Chong and crew, but added additional improvements, including a Mier box for a more sturdy housing for battery, controller, modem and electrical controls, a metal conduit for protecting cables from camera and solar panels. Both of these improvements were developed in order to minimize potential of problems with bears or other mammals destroying the materials.   We also looped the electrical cables coming out of the solar panel prior to going into the conduit to minimize the potential for condensation or rain going into the battery box.  We drilled a hole in the bottom of the Mier Products box to allow for ventilation and covered it with a screen to prevent insect colonization. Finally, we added a grounding wire to protect the electrical system from lightning.

Notes from the Grand River Grassland Phenocam Installation

The team including, John Pleasants (USGS), Joe Krienert (USGS), Rhea Waldman (ISU), and Diane Debinski (ISU) installed a phenocam at a site in the Grand River Grassland near Mount Ayr, Iowa on August 7, 2015. We used the knowledge we gained from the Grand Teton Phenocam installation for this project. For this installation we used a ruggedized plastic box to house the equipment.