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WHS Teacher Facilitates ‘Picture Post’ Addition to Wells Harbor

posted Oct 5, 2012, 9:24 AM by Fran Prentice

A visitor to Wells Harbor can now become involved in monitoring the harbor’s environment by taking photos of the harbor and uploading them to a special website where scientists, students and others can view and study them.  This is made possible with what is known as a ‘Picture Post’.  

 During the summer Wells High School teacher Cheryl Oakes and Town of Wells Harbormaster Christopher Mayo installed one of these units on the dock near the Harbormaster’s headquarters.  The small black unit can be found perched atop a wooden trash receptacle next to a railing overlooking the water.  It was Oakes who initiated the idea of bringing one of these units to the harbor.

 All one needs to help monitor Wells Harbor with photos is a smart phone (or ordinary digital camera with home computer), a free account with www.picturepost.unh.edu, and a QR (quick response) code reader application (or app) which is generally free and easy to install on the smartphone.

          To access the website to upload or view photos one needs to scan over the QR code on the picture post with the QR reader on the phone.  Photos can then be uploaded in minutes.  In addition, photos previously uploaded can be viewed without leaving the harbor.   The Wells Harbor photo collections are growing and deal with such topics as seasonal changes in the harbor as well as tidal patterns photographed over time.  

The photo station can also serve as a tripod allowing anyone to take ‘shake-free’ digital photos from seven different positions.  These positions can also allow for a collage of photos forming a 360 degree image of the harbor.  There is also a place on the post to take a sky photo for monitoring weather.

 “It’s a great thing,” said Oakes of the picture post.  Oakes said that this technology allows anyone to become a citizen scientist and help monitor the environment.  Oakes believes that photographic data obtained from this post may someday lead to another dredging of Wells Harbor.

 “Picture Post is part of the Digital Earth Watch (DEW).   DEW supports environmental monitoring by citizens, students and community organizations through digital photography and satellite imagery.”  Picture Post is supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  (Source: www.picturepost.unh.edu). 

 For more information visit www.picturepost.unh.edu or send email message to:  Cheryl Oakes at Wells High School at coakes@wocsd.org

                                                                                                 09-26-12

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