Jungle Rhythms: beta trial

I’ve been quietly working on a citizen science project called Jungle Rhythms. The Jungle Rhythms project is started to ensure the preservation and transcriptions of historical hand-drawn observations of the life cycle events of over 500 different tropical tree species. These observations together with meteorological data will tell us the response of a tree’s life cycle events to changing environmental conditions, ultimately allowing us to predict the state of the forest in a changing climate.

Below you see an example of a sheet with hand-observations, where on the horizontal grid lines fine pencil marks delineate the timing of life cycle events.

[caption id=”attachment_787” align=”alignnone” width=”300”]annotation A historical record of life cycle events - click to enlarge[/caption]

In order to test the workflow of the annotation and gather feedback on the content of the project I released a public beta. In under a day the 90 images provided as a test case were viewed by 15 individual users. A big thank you goes out to the mostly anonymous zooniverse user community for annotating this dataset and providing me with the necessary feedback to ensure a high quality project.

The feedback was in general positive, recurring comments were made on the clarity of the project description or intended use of the data. Stepping back a bit I can see these shortcomings and I will address these in the next and probably final release of the project. The annotation data gathered will also provide me with a sense of accuracy and consistency of the classification between users. Once these annotation data are processed I will report her on my blog as well as on the Jungle Rhythms project page.

Once more my thanks go out to all the zooniverse users who tested my project!

A new eye in the sky

Today the latest EUMETSAT 4th Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite returned it’s first image.  This is Europe’s latest geostationary weather satellite and the latest iteration in a long line of weather satellites going back to the mid the 1990’s with the launch of the first generation Meteosat satellites. In our changing world it is key to keep a keen eye on weather and weather systems.

Dark nights at Harvard Forest

The past two days I was out at Harvard Forest to help collect samples for Morgan, a PhD student in the lab. I know the skies at Harvard Forest can be pretty dark so in addition to working boots I packed my camera and tripod. The result of some patience and an hour of post-processing can be seen below. In the picture’s top left you see the Coathanger or Brocchi’s cluster. At bottom right Sagittarius and the galaxy’s center sets into trees lining Prospect Hill road. On the bottom the Torrey Labs (left) and the Fisher house (right) and the trees on Prospect Hill road are lit up by street lights. The final picture is a stacked exposure of 10 shots at 25 sec. each with a 12mm / f2 lens at ISO 6400. (click for a full sized version)

Best of PhenoCam: Half Dome at sunset

Another PhenoCam gem! Half Dome rises almost 3000m above sea level at the eastern end of the Yosemite national park. The western side lights up in the evening sun. That’s a lot of magnificent granite in the evening sun. Recently Google documented the ascent of another famous rockface in Yosemite, El Capitan, using their street view project. It makes for a good read and some sweaty palms if you are not so comfortable with heights.


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