PhenoPi: low cost phenology monitoring

Most of my research revolves around green leaf phenology, or the study of seasonal changes in vegetation. These changes can be observed visually by looking at vegetation (are there leaves or not?). However, for the sake of convenience and consistency it’s far easier to setup a network of sensors. This is exactly what has been done by Prof. dr. Andrew D. Richardson at Harvard University.

The PhenoCam project provides automated near-surface remote sensing (digital images) of vegetation which are processed in a consistent way to track seasonal changes in vegetation greenness. Sadly, the cameras used within the context of the project are rather expensive and outside the price range of your average naturalist or interested citizen scientist.

Given this lack of a cheap alternative to ‘real’ PhenoCams I decided to cobble together a citizen science PhenoCam. Given that it’s based upon a raspberry pi I baptized it PhenoPi. The project is currently in development, with a working prototype. There is already a public repository on my bitbucket page but the code or the documentation is ugly. However, with time this should all come together. Keep track of this page and my bitbucket page for updates.