Public Lab Research note

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Air Quality Monitoring at UWEC

by bkleist |

Air quality research is beginning again once again in Eau Claire, this time a bit closer to home. The university is planning a construction project to remodel Garfield Ave, a street that cuts through the campus. Our research team is moving some of our equipment from Bloomer WI, to the UWEC campus to take measurements during construction. We have also received a new trail camera that Public Lab generously sent us to use, which our research professor has had in his possession. I will be picking up the camera later today and will be familiarizing myself with it this week. I will post another research note once the role of the camera in this research becomes more clear, probably in about a week or so.

Our group met this morning to discuss possible locations to move the equipment on campus, and bounced around a few ideas of the best ways to gather contextual data as well. One of the ideas is to deploy a Dylos air monitor that is connected to the internet to get real time data, and to deploy a Go Pro camera with the Dylos. Newer models of Go Pro cameras can connect to the internet, so we would be able to know what is going on if airborne particulates spike. One of the ideas was to possibly set up notifications that team members would receive if particulates spiked, but we were unsure if it was possible to set the Dylos up to notify us.

photo-monitoring wisconsin air-quality timelapse particulates pm dylos pm-monitoring trail-camera uwec timelapse-story



@warren @rjstatic would know more about the modification, but the Open Pipe Kit installation you have should be modifiable to send an e-mail notification.

I love the idea of a Dylos synced with a timelapse. We've been working on timelapse stuff over at the photo monitoring page and are also talking with the folks who made this for syncing timelapse video with sensor data:

What's your Dylos setup like?

Also glad to hear the trail cam arrived. Please take some good pictures of the setup if possible -- and it's probably a good idea to try an indoor timelapse for a couple days to confirm that it works as expected. I was hoping to do one of some chia seeds sprouting, just so it's not super boring.

My chia seeds are taking a while; I really like the idea of testing the camera out with sprouts, because

a) it's pretty neat to see in timelapse b) it's a fast, low-risk way to test things out over 24 hours, and people may be more comfortable sharing sprouting pictures than environmental monitoring pics, esp. in sensitive areas -- but then can still help build out the documentation c) you know something's going to happen, which isn't necessarily the case for in-the-field testing, so it's a good test run


@stevie mentioned:

Mung beans and lentils are the easiest and fastest to sprout. Alfalfa, chickpeas, and adzuki beans are also good for beginners, but need a little more time.

I was hoping to capture a timelapse kind of like this one, via


But my seeds haven't sprouted, so I'll give it a couple more days and also look around for mung beans and lentils!

Hi- If your growing seeds inside, one of the favorites of botanists is brassica rapa, which has lots of cultivars, such as bok choy. It was one of the first to have its genome sequenced. It grows rapidly inside, even with lower light levels. In cold weather, it's fun inside, as it gets tall pretty fast, Brassica rapa includes the many cultivars of wild mustard, e.g. turnips and canola, besides bok choy, my favorite.

Oh wow, I know the brassica family well in my kitchen, but didn't know they sprout quickly. Will give it a try, thanks!

@Warren, I just watched the video you commented above and I love it. That is exactly what i want to do by using the trail camera. The Dylos setup is to be determined, the first thing that has to be determined is where the best vantage point to set up the equipment once construction has begun. The location has to have a power supply and internet capabilities, which limits potential spots. The trail camera (Crenova Trail Camera for those who are interested) has been working well, I am still experimenting with different settings, but i need to pick up new batteries. The battery indicator said the batteries were full charge but died 2 minutes later, so i'll have to keep an eye on that, i hope it doesn't become an issue. Once some of the snow melts and the location is chosen, I will take photos of the setup and surrounding area. My goal would be to do what the video shows, where a large amount of contextual data is collected and can be reviewed, but with one addition. I would really like to set up notifications that would alert us when air concentrations hit a certain benchmark. There is an open pipe kit that is compatible with Dylos, but that sends an email notification, rather that a text notification which is what we are going for. Does anybody have information on how I could set up text notifications? :)

Oh, that's great to hear, @bkleist, and yes, you can use to get an email to trigger a text message. I'm happy to help you get that set up; want to email me the desired phone number at and I can set up an email to send to?

Oh, that's great to hear, @bkleist, and yes, you can use to get an email to trigger a text message. I'm happy to help you get that set up; want to email me the desired phone number at and I can set up an email to send to?

Did you see the blasting photo from the timelapse @LauraChipley posted?

Hi there, wondering if you've been able to get the camera up and running? Think we might try to get one going in New Orleans to watch for stormwater events. I know @dswenson had some trouble with his leaking.. wondering how yours is holding up!

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