Public Lab Wiki documentation

Programs and working groups meeting 6-27-2011

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Mon, June 27 2011:


Two main arcs - how do we choose programs, and how do we administer/run them?

This is an overview and initial conversation, we should follow up with a big meeting in Sept. - work charts, problem trees, etc.

Recommend we form groups around program areas today, we can shuffle later & revisit in Sept, and that we come to some consensus on what our program areas are? Both today, and what we’d like them to be in the near future.

Choosing programs

Summary of current programs (help out, add in stuff where you can!):

How should we define a program? A program is an issue area or topic, There are also cross cutting practices.

1 Petro-chemical industries and extraction industries

  • Tools: Spectrometer, NDVI, Endocrine disruption screen, UV, water quality, thermal camera
  • Sites: Gulf coast, Gowanus/NYC, (possible: appalacchia), Gas patch, tar sands, Butte
  • Collaborators? Skytruth, LABB, Gowanus canal conservancy (is greatly affected by this, but acting in area 3),

2 Environmental health (in many cases related to the above)

  • indoor/outdoor (is this “presence of harmful chemicals, frequently resulting from chemical or extraction industries, or from industrial production of goods like indoor furniture; and resulting health effects on living organisms?”)
  • Outdoor: NDVI, GRM, spectrometer, Endocrine disruption screen, water quality
    • Sites: Gulf Coast, NYC, gas patch
  • Indoor: spectrometer, roomba, Endocrine disruption screen, thermal camera
    • Sites: homes, schools,
  • Collaborators? Asthma files,

3 (this one needs work) Changes [sustainable] land usage? Ecological sustainability?

  • (is this ecological productivity -- soil health, photosynthetic activity, ?) sustainable agriculture - local, organic, small, family, community, broadly defined
  • Tools: near-Infrared camera, GRM, NDVI
  • Sites: Wetlands - silt, runoff, riparian buffer zones, bioswales), Somerville

Working groups:

First name is chairperson/lead coordinator for the group's topic:

1 Outreach - conferences, meet ups, barnraising, exhibitions - Sara, shannon, jeff mathew 2 Retail - kits: Adam, Stewart, Jeff, Mathew 3 Fundraising- Jeff, Shannon, Adam, Mathew (grant writing), sara (grant writing), Liz 4 Outcomes - outreach with existing data, legal/policy leverage, papers, exhibitions - Shannon, Sara, Adam 5 Evaluation, interviews- Shannon, Sara, Mathew 6 Public Archive/Online systems? web infrastructure - Stu, Jeff (liz in part) 7 GM Forum, printing - Mathew, Stu, jeff, shannon 8 PR - press releases, social media outreach, website content - videos- Liz, Jeff, Stu 9. Budget- Shannon, Sara....everyone

Tool Working Groups:

In Use

9 GRM: Kites and balloons- Mathew, Stu, Liz

Not Proven Yet

11 Infrared camera (NDVI, NRG, false color) - Jeff, Stu, Liz 10 Spectrometry - Jeff, Sara 12 Roomba - Sara, Shannon (liz interested in air qual sensors for wide use)--Indoor air 13 water quality/endocrine disruption- Sara, Shannon, mathew, liz 14 thermal camera - Liz or Stu, Jeff, Sara

15 Research and Development future projects - stereo camera for 3D, deriving point clouds, diy lidar (liz interested) stu, sara 16 Program area review -- assess our work in the context of our program areas, every x months (6?)

Review every 6 months? Other timelines depending on working group

Other notes:

Summary of existing work today:

  • Publishing & kits:
    • GM Forum
    • PLOTS Website, community blog, PLOTS archive
    • balloon mapping kit, spectrometer kit, (infrared camera, thermal camera)
  • Public Events & outreach
    • workshops, hackathons, barn-raisings
    • lectures, attending others’ public events (dorkbot, local meetups, community planning meetings)
  • Site work:
    • Gulf coast: summarize? Oil spill, flooding, wetlands loss
    • Gowanus: water and air contamination, bioswale remediation zones
    • Portland, Butte, Somerville, WCU, Providence, Togo, Belize... more? Which have a long-term commitment?
  • Topic areas:
    • water/land contamination (oil, etc) - extraction industries
    • environmental health (in many cases related to the above)
    • wetlands loss & wetlands as remediation zones
    • sustainable agriculture - local, organic, small, family, community, broadly defined
    • others?
  • Feedback loops:

    • GM Forum interviews and articles
    • PLOTS Archive, interviews, comments, embedding, “how to use this data”
    • Journals, op-eds & other writing
    • public events, exhibitions,
    • data refinement, analysis, interpretation in all of these feedback loops
    • data outreach - publishing our work and getting it taken up by law, policy, research, academia, education
  • Proposals: we’ve already done this for some; these ought to exist on the website, no?

    • choosing process -- how many? 3-5 sites, no less than 7 major programs, site or otherwise.
    • mini vs. mega projects - how may can each person tackle? More than one staffer on each project?
      • could there be larger #s of mini projects, or each person can have their own mini project which may mature into a mega one later down the road? Limit on how many mini programs?
    • early, mid, mature projects: 70%/20%/10%? how to narrow them down? Base this partially on documentation/literature produced
    • choosing could be related to how many people sign up to work on the project? “putting together a team” - where people might only have 3-5 projects each, max?

Summary of tools:

Kites and Balloons * Need full set for all wind conditions and a guide for choosing flying * potential for air quality monitoring by building line-runners. IR → postprocessing for ndvi Stereo Cameras → postprocessing for topography / 3D Thermal Camera Air Quality * VOCs * Carbon Monoxide Water Testing * Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Nutrients * Heavy Metals * Micropollutants, organic compounds, etc. * biologicals * fecal coliform/total coliforms * bod/cod * turbidity *Soil Testing * Nutrients * Heavy Metals * Micropollutants

Administrating programs

  • Recommend groups of 2-3 for each program/project, where one person is lead. (this became Working Groups, above)
    • Both group leadership and membership can rotate every 3-6 months, for sites, this is partially limited by proximity.
    • Recommend autonomy and budget control (with reviews/checks/balances) within each group to reduce overhead and make decision making localized. Different groups can figure things out based on local context and share, rather than making top-down decisions.Cross-subscription of members should maximize communication.
    • each group ought to meet by phone once or twice a week. Only 2-3 people should be easier. Post weekly notes.