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 (formerly at Iowa State University now at Montana State University) to install two phenocams at research sites in Iowa – Grand River Grassland (now maintained by Dr. Brian Wilsey) and Wyoming – Grand Teton. The IowaView phenocams are part of a larger phenocam network across the USA and world.
A Photo Journal from the Grand Teton Phenocam Installation
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.