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Appalachia Barnraising

June 24th and 25th, Morgantown, West Virginia

The Appalachia Barnraising is an open event that seeks to bring participants together to share out about regional environmental concerns, advance technical knowledge, and improve social ties. The event is hosted in an “unconference style.” This means that people join to participate and collaborate rather than just present, talk, and listen.

The event is open for anyone to bring environmental interests and ideas and will also have a focus on extreme energy extraction in Appalachia. Communities affected by coal mining, oil drilling and fracking are front and center at this event as we come together to work on developing strategies, and addressing these issues in our communities, and across the region.

Register Here

Make a donation to support the Barnraising!

Logistics about the event:

Location The event will be hosted in Morgantown WV, at West Virginia University Reed College of Media, at the Media Innovation Center.

Registration and Updates Registration to this event is required and will close Sunday, June 18th. To get event updates, sign up for the Barnraising Google Group here:

Event Cost The event cost is run on a sliding scale so that everyone who wants to join can. We set the cost at $50 which covers the event, housing Friday and Saturday nights, and meals starting Saturday breakfast and going through Sunday lunch. For those who can pay more there will be a donation option at the end of registration. This helps us balance out with those who can't afford the $50 registration. For those who need to pay less to attend, email stevie@publiclab.org for a list of discount codes options you can use to suit your needs.

Housing Those traveling from out of town are invited sign up for university housing in the registration form (to be posted shortly). The housing will be dorm style, and will include towels and linens.

Travel If you are coming in from out of town and need support getting to the event, let us know. We will also have vans coming from Durham NC and NYC that can pick people up along the way. Email stevie@publiclab.org if you require travel assistance.

Event topics

While the event is hosted in an unconference style, we're gathering ideas now on sessions people are interested in having. Edit the page and add your ideas below:

  • Water quality monitoring using open source sensors.
  • Using photography in monitoring for runoff and in land use change.
  • Hot-Spot air monitoring tools.
  • Easy way to map areas with air quality issues (open source software etc.)
  • Air quality dealing with slaughterhouse waste/fertilizer
  • Local level environmental ordinances.
  • Engaging with community members to identify local issues and how environmental management might help mitigate them.
  • Local job creation opportunities.
  • Legal Advocacy Tools

Help with Outreach

Have people you want to share this event with? Here's a copy of the save the date you can use to send out: Barnraising_draft_-1-.pdf

Attendees include people from:

Partners for the Appalachia Barnraising include:

Media_Innovation_Center_Logo.jpg AMPlogo-2-black.jpg

About the Barnraising

The Barnraising is the closest thing we have to a Public Lab conference -- but with an emphasis on "doing stuff together." It is an unparalleled, high bandwidth event where people come together to exchange hard-won technical knowledge, tactics, and stories in person. Participants in Barnraisings:

  • Improve social ties through in-person collaboration,
  • Participate in in-depth exploration of local environmental issues and ongoing community research,
  • Advance technical knowledge, and
  • Work on projects such as local environmental monitoring and documenting new monitoring methods.

While Barnraisings have been hosted in each year in Louisana since 2012, the frist Regional Barnraising was held in Spring, 2014 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This was a great way to draw new Public Labbers in, focus on regional issues and cater to people who are unable to travel to our yearly Barnraising in Louisiana.

Recognizing the growth of the Public Lab Midwest community, the second annual Regional Barnraising was held in the summer of 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Midwest projects such as hydrogen sulfide sensing, petcoke mapping and dust monitoring laid the groundwork for a fantastic and dynamic regional event.

In 2016 Public Lab hosted the Regional Barnraising in Val Verde, California in LA county. This event drew community partners from as far south as San Diego and as far north as the Central Valley. Featured in Val Verde, participants focused attentions on a local landfill that has been both a health hazard and nuisance to residents for many years. At the time of the Regional Barnraising, the landfill was threatening to expand, and many believed it was already taking waste beyond its capacity.

Past Barnraisings:


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