Overview: Sensing the Environment

A series of collaborative projects between Make+Think+Code@PNCA, Intel, and the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council

Sensing the Environment:  A Citizen Science/Connected Learning project

A citizen science/collaborative research/education project between Make+Think+Code@PNCA, Intel Labs and various community/industry groups to use science, technology, data, art, and design  to better understand our ecosystems, and the habitats and behaviours of birds and other life that share our environment. We focus on the urban environment as well as the various watersheds and wildlife corridors surrounding the Portland Metropolitan Area.

A joint endeavour between students, artists and designers, researchers, data scientists, technologists, environmental/conservation groups, and educators.

Join Us For the Project

The Goal(s):

Design, build sensor kits to gather environmental data;   Create an open-source database that stores and categorizes data as a resource for research scientists, environmental/conservation/civic/ government organisations and for educators; use techniques of data science (including deep learning) to analyse and interpret the data; discover and tell the stories about these species and spaces by creating a variety of visualisations, maps, and  immersive interactive experiences.  Develop curricular modules for k-12.  

The First Project: Acoustic monitoring

Detect, track, and identify birds and bats through sound. We currently have very little data for the region and new technology allows us to create an affordable (wireless), self-sustaining device that can detect, record, and store/transmit birdcalls.

The Second Project:  Monitoring Air Quality

Gather environmental data (air quality, weather) and transmit to a corresponding app.

Next Steps:

Hackathon to design sensor kits, July 14th - July 21st, 2017

Design, troubleshoot, and prototype kits. August 9th, August 12th, 2017

Strategy/brainstorming sessions for the data and design, September 24th, 2017, 10AM - 5PM

Build sessions for the kits. 

Offer workshops that prepare interested collaborators in data science and machine learning/AI; in mapping and GIS; in microcontrollers; and in creating immersive and interactive experiences including mixed reality, apps, mapping, and installations; analyze data;   visualise our insights and the ecological and cultural history of this ecosystem.    In the spring facilitate a week-long curriculum hackathon to design assignments, projects, and modules with middle and high school educators.  Hold hackathons and design/build in the spring to complete the data analysis and visualisations/stories.  

Look for the wonderful presentations, stories, and installations on Earth Day and International Migratory Bird Day 2018.

Join Us For the Project

Partners and Sponsors:

Audubon Society Crowd Supply Intel Nordic Semiconductor PJRC Portland 3D Printing Lab Public Lab Sandy River Basin Watershed Council


Andy Ferlitsch                  Ben Purdy                        Bennett Battaile                   

Bob Holmström                Bob Sallinger                   Brad Jackson                   

Candace Hazelwood       Carrie Carter                     Chris Hansen

Douglas Hanes                Emanuel Castro               Gregor Yanega                

Harold Mills                      Howard Silverman            Jack Stringer                   

Jesse Jenkins                 Joe Liebezeit                     Joseph Wells                  

Kim Hack                        Marissa Anderson              Max Ogden                      

Meenakshi Rao               Melody Rowell                   Mert Kocabagli                

Mike Heavers                   Nanda D'Agostino            Nandini Ranganathan     

Paul Stoffregen                 Peter Russo                     Philip Orlando                 

Reese Bowes                  Reid Blomquist                  Richard Beckwith            

Rob Bekuhrs                    Sarah Bailey                     Scott Chamberlain          

Shashi Jain                      Sonya Neunzert                Stephanie Mendoza       

Steve Rosenstock            Steve Wise                       Sue Slagle                      

Trace Harris                     Violet Peña