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The 2018 Methods in Environmental Data Acquisition course will be held from Sunday, 3 June through Saturday, 9 June 2018 (with departures on 10 June 2018 for Saturday field trip participants). The nearly-final draft agenda is included below, but may be tweaked slightly to reflect the interests of this year’s cohort.

Participants who are flying should plan to arrive at the Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) no later than 4:30 PM MDT on Sunday, June 3rd, where they will be shuttled to the Sevilleta Field Station in UNM vans. Multiple shuttle trips will be scheduled throughout the day. Participants who are driving should plan to arrive at the Sevilleta Field Station by 5:30 PM MDT. Departures will begin on Saturday, June 9th, for those not interested in participating in either of the post-course field trips. Remaining participants will depart on Sunday, June 10th.

Your course fee will cover all meals starting from dinner on Sunday, June 3rd through breakfast on Saturday, June 9th. For those participating in the optional post-course field trips, lunch and dinner will also be provided. We will take all participants to Socorro, NM for additional supplies on Monday and Friday evenings. Alcohol is allowed at the Sevilleta Field Station.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

  • Through late afternoon: Arrivals
  • Evening: Opening Remarks, Introductions, and Overview Presentation, followed by Dinner & Social Mixer

Monday, June 4, 2018

  • Breakfast

  • Field Trip I
    • Sevilleta Wireless Network
    • Meteorological Station
    • Nighttime Warming Experiment
    • Monsoon Rainfall Manipulation Experiment
    • Boxed Lunches at Cibola Springs
    • Piñon-Juniper Rainfall Manipulation Experiment
    • Piñon-Juniper Eddy Covariance Flux Tower
    • Grocery and supply run in Socorro, NM
  • Dinner & Socializing

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


  • Breakfast
  • Basic Electronics
    • Low voltage DC systems
    • Introductory circuit theory
    • Ohm’s Law & Watt’s Law
    • Multimeter skills for checking and troubleshooting circuits
    • Hands-on exercise: using a multimeter to measure voltage, current, resistance, and continuity
  • Lunch
  • Photovoltaic Systems
    • Components of photovoltaic systems: solar panels, charge controllers, batteries, wiring, inverters, fuses, & grounding
    • Solar panel mounting: construction options & tilt angles
    • Sizing photovoltaic systems
    • Hands-on exercise: using MS Excel to calculate power budgets and size photovoltaic systems
  • Dinner & Socializing

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


  • Breakfast
  • Wi-Fi Telemetry Systems
    • Antenna fundamentals: gain, frequency, directionality, polarization, cabling, line-of-sight (LOS), and Fresnel zones
    • Tools for designing physical telemetry network infrastructure: LOS calculators, topographic maps, GPS devices, and groundtruthing
    • Hands-on exercise: using online tools to calculate LOS
    • Wi-Fi radio fundamentals: 802.11 protocols, access points(AP), clients, bandwidth, frequency, channels, interference, security, and advanced features
    • Lightning protection and grounding
  • Lunch
  • Wi-Fi Telemetry Systems
    • Fundamentals of Internet Protocol (IP) networking: IP address, gateway, subnet mask, domain name server (DNS), public vs. private networks, network address translation (NAT), static vs. dynamic (DHCP) addressing, and routing
    • Ethernet cabling: types, tools for making and testing
    • Hands-on exercise: making Ethernet cables
    • Hands-on exercise: configuring AP and client Wi-Fi radios to create classroom network
    • Hands-on exercise: testing and troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks using ping and speed tests
  • Dinner & Socializing

Thursday, June 7, 2018


  • Breakfast
  • Dataloggers, Sensors, and Software
    • Introduction to the Campbell Scientific CR1000 datalogger
    • Sensors: types, measurement, Campbell vs. non-Campbell, specifications, cable extension, field installation, and labeling
    • Other data acquisition equipment: multiplexers, wiring, conduit, enclosures, hardware, and tools
    • Wiring planners and documentation
    • Hands-on exercise: using MS Excel to develop a wiring plan
  • Lunch & Group Photo
  • Datalogger Programming
    • Introduction to LoggerNet 4.x
    • Components of a typical datalogger program: variable declarations, data tables, subroutines, main program
    • Programming fundamentals: data types, conditional statements, repetitive loops
    • Style and readability: comments, indentation, and spacing
    • Hands-on exercise: using LoggerNet to setup and connect to a CR1000 datalogger
    • Hands-on exercise: programming for control
    • Hands-on exercise: write a program to measure and collect data from temperature and soil moisture sensors
  • Sevilleta Field Station Summer REU Seminar: Dr. Scott Collins
  • Post-seminar BBQ Dinner & Socializing (Jointly held with Seminar Potluck)

Friday, June 8, 2018


  • Breakfast
  • Data Acquisition and Management
    • Overview of Sevilleta data acquisition system
    • Other telemetry options (e.g., cellular modem, Iridium satellite)
    • Using serial-to-ethernet converters to provide real-time data access: configuration, Campbell vs. non-Campbell
    • Hands-on exercise: configuring Campbell NL200 serial-to- ethernet converters and connecting all classroom CR1000s to classroom Wi-Fi network we set up on Wednesday
    • Software tools for data management and visualization
  • Lunch
  • Introduction to Sensor Data Management
    • Data management in the LTER network
    • Hands-on exercise: introduction to using R for basic analysis and visualization of sensor data
  • Group Discussion & Final Remarks
  • Field Trip II
    • Extreme Drought in Grasslands Experiment
  • Dinner at Frank & Lupe’s El Sombrero in Socorro, NM

Saturday, June 9, 2018


  • Breakfast
  • Optional Post-Course Field Trips
  • Departures for those not participating in one of the optional post-course field trips
  • Dinner & Socializing

Sunday, June 10, 2018

  • Departures