Posted on June 28, 2012 by schradercenter
GigaPan Magazine recently selected one the Schrader Center’s GigaPan photos as a finalist in the Nearby Nature “gigablitz” from this past winter. Check out the winning Hardwood Ridge GigaPan here!
Some of the juror’s comments about the Schrader Center’s GigaPan: ”captures nature’s resilience to human modification.” · “evidence of the continuation of plant life cycles – mosses, fungi, and insects are working to break down the logs so that other things might grow there.”
GigaPans are digital images with billions of pixels, with remarkably crisp and vivid detail, all captured in the context of a single brilliant photo. Using a series of robotic camera mounts to capture photos using almost any digital camera, GigaPan Stitch Software automatically combines hundreds of images taken into a single image.
Filed under: Environmental Education, Nature, Oglebay Park, Plants, Schrader Center, Streams, Technology, Trails, Trees, Uncategorized, Wheeling | Tagged: gigablitz, GigaPan, hardwood ridge, nature, Oglebay, Trails | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 26, 2012 by schradercenter
We are just getting preliminary data from the Waterbots we installed in the park last week, but we are already seeing some interesting trends in the data. The above chart is a graph of Conductivity (red line) and Temperature (blue line) over the last week. Conductivity is represented as microsiemens per centimeter (the amount and rate of electricity that can pass through the water), and temperature is represented as 10 times the actual degrees Celsius (to make it graph on the same range as conductivity).
The conductivity fluctuates daily, with temperature, and you can see that on the evenings of the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, conductivity reached the same low level. Interestingly on the 24th the conductivity dipped slightly less than the previous days. This could be the result of rain on the 24th (a little over a tenth of an inch) that may have washed various inorganic salts into the creek. Keep tuned in to the blog where we will periodically post the data we are collecting in and around the Park.
Filed under: Environmental Education, Mission Ground Truth, Oglebay Park, Streams, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged: streams, water bot, water conductivity | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 23, 2012 by schradercenter
By Jake Francis, Director of Education, Schrader Center — As part of the expansion of our Mission Ground Truth:21 program, which gives regional 8th graders a chance to explore the process of inquiry and careers in science while immersing them in nature, we have installed three permanent stream probes in the streams in and around Oglebay Park. We have received six probes, called Waterbots, through our partnership with the Community Robotics, Education, and Technology Education Lab (CREATE) at Carnegie Mellon University, that strives to empower communities through robotic technology.
Permanent stream probes are not a revolutionary new idea; in fact many old dams and weirs served the purpose of measuring stream discharge. What is revolutionary about the CREATE Lab’s Waterbots is their low cost, which increases citizen scientist’s (like our Mission Ground Truthers) access to high quality continuous water quality data sets.
Waterbots measure two stream parameters, conductivity and temperature. Conductivity is a measurement of how quickly electricity passes through water. Conductivity is a good indicator of pollution because any chemical dissolved in the stream (e.g. nitrate fertilizers, ammonia based soaps, oils, etc) will change the conductivity, thus a large
unexpected fluctuation in the conductivity of our streams will indicate that we need to investigate that area a little more closely. Temperature fluctuations affect conductivity measurements, and when both parameters are combined we are able to estimate the Total Dissolved Solutes (TDS) in the stream. The data we collect using our Waterbots will be open to educators and the general public who are concerned about threats to our local water quality.
Filed under: Environmental Education, Mission Ground Truth, Nature, Oglebay Park, Schools, Schrader Center, Streams, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged: oglebay park, pollution, schrader center, streams, water conductivity, waterbots | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 18, 2012 by schradercenter
A team from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center visited the Schrader Environmental Education Center on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 beginning a 14-week collaborative project to design and develop applications for engaging the public and enhancing the experience of visitors to Oglebay Park, the Schrader Center, and the A.B. Brooks Discovery Trail System. The team is exploring using QR (Quick Response) codes, where a visitor can scan a QR code with a camera-enabled Smartphone and link to digital content on the web such as a trail map or information on various birds, and an iPhone app that would allow visitors to track animal and bird sitings within the park using geocaching with GPS coordinates, as well as a variety of other ideas.
QR Code Example
Carnegie Mellon’s ETC is a unique Masters program that brings together interdisciplinary student teams with an emphasis on making real things that work. Their graduates are among the most highly sought-after professionals in the interactive media industry. The Schrader Center was chosen by a panel of advisors to participate in a joint partnership with the ETC and is in the company of corporate projects such as Microsoft, the Chicago Museum and Lockheed Martin. The ETC was founded in the fall of 1998 as a joint program between the School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts with Co-Directors Don Marinelli, a Professor of Drama, and the late Randy Pausch, a Professor of Computer Science, helping to illustrate the educational and professional mission of the ETC. Randy Pausch gained international fame with his 2007 “Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” that has more than 14 million views on YouTube.
The Schrader Center is constantly seeking to discover innovative and effective ways to engage visitors and members, and the staff is currently working in partnership with the country’s top institutions and foundations to bring new ideas, technology, knowledge, and experiences to the Ohio Valley. Since 1926 when A.B. Brooks lead his first nature walk, Oglebay Institute has been a global leader in public programming, camping, professional development, green building technology, and school-based programs. We celebrate that tradition and look forward to our future. This partnership is made possible by a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.
Filed under: Environmental Education, Oglebay Park, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged: a.b. brooks discovery trail, carnegie mellon, entertainment technolgy center, oglebay park, shrader center | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 13, 2012 by schradercenter
Counting the American Crows, Corvus brachyrhynchos, which converge between Wheeling Island and Bridgeport, OH has been a Post-Christmas Bird Count tradition for over two decades. The tradition began when Carl Slater and Greg Eddy, Brooks Bird Club members, decided it would be an interesting challenge to try to quantify this impressive phenomenon. The two birders attempted almost every counting technique imaginable throughout the years; from counting individual birds per tree and estimating the population size multiplying by the number of trees, to estimating the number of crows arriving per minute. Getting a precise count of the crows proved nearly impossible.
More recently Ryan Tomazin, a Junior Nature Camp alumnus and Brooks Bird Club member, has joined the effort. This year he recorded HD videos of the thousands of crows flying into the roost, and counted the individuals while playing the videos back in slow motion. While he was not able to get a precise count, this year’s estimate places about forty thousand crows in Bridgeport on December 17, slightly less than last year. ~Jacob Francis, Director of Environmental Education at the Schrader Center
Filed under: Birds, Brooks Bird Club, Christmas Bird Count, Junior Nature Camp, Nature, Technology, Uncategorized, Volunteers, Wheeling | Tagged: american crows, birds, brooks bird club, christmas bird count, corvus brachyrhynchos, corvus ossifragus, crows, fish crows | Leave a Comment »