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_Tidmarsh Farms: Living Observatory

A multi-sensory observation project documents the restoration of Massachusetts wetlands.

2012 Glorianna Davenport
EN Visit the project

“The restoration actions will kick start conservation across the landscape and provide a unique learning opportunity as a Living Observatory.”

Glorianna Davenport, Author, to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Massachusetts

Plymouth, Massachusetts’ 250-acre Tidmarsh Farms is undergoing large-scale restoration. As a part of the project, a team of ecologists, designers, and innovators has come together to create a “Living Observatory” to document the change. The initiative expects to install a network of sensors across the ecosystem, which will stream visual, aural, and environmental data. Users will be able to access live feeds of that data from the website. Over time, users will be able to observe how ecologists have analyzed and responded to that data. The multi-sensory approach not only reveals the scope of the project, but feeds back into it, helping to guide the restoration.

The project is still developing prototype sensors and experimenting with data visualization. An array of sensors reveals environmental data like humidity, barometric pressure, and radio signal strength.  The team set up an audio stream in mid-2013, and more developments are expected soon.

Project at a Glance :

Language : EN
Country : United States
Year : 2012
Author : Glorianna Davenport
Team : MIT Media Lab,Tidmarsh Farms
Funders AND Incubators : College of Communication at Boston University,Department of Geosciences at University of Massachusetts-Amherst,Digital Media Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology,MIT Media Laboratory
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  1. David Fowler

    I would like to volunteer to assist the Living
    Observatory at Tidmarsh Farm in some

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