For more than half a century, the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica has provided researchers with the data needed to study everything from local amphibian and reptile populations to global warming. To meet a growing demand for La Selva’s treasure trove of biological and environmental data, the main facilities are getting a $785,000 high-tech makeover that includes wireless access to measurement systems that collect and transmit data and provide a dynamic 3-D analysis of the rainforest canopy.
The Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) at the University of California, Los Angeles, plans to develop and expand its mobile sensor platforms and sensor arrays as well as the information technology and infrastructure used to store and share the collected information. The upgrade—funded by the National Science Foundation—will enable researchers to take core microclimate measurements and precise wind measurements as well as measure carbon dioxide (CO2) differences up through the rainforest’s canopy. It will also be used to set up networks of video and acoustic monitoring capabilities for animal and plant studies.
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