David R. Brooks, PhD
Institute for Earth Science Research and Education
2686 Overhill Drive
Eagleville, Pennsylvania 19403 USA
|Some of the work described on this site has been made possible by support from the National
Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic
& Atmospheric Administration, and the Toyota USA Foundation. Click here for policy statements concerning this website.
|Eastern Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes|
October 4, 2015. This parsley plant in our garden is being
stripped by more than two
dozen of these beautiful caterpillars.
The caterpillar in the center of
the picture has raised
"horns" in alarm.
|You can now use your
PayPal account to purchase instruments from IESRE.|
Here is a link to a new document that gives equations and code for calculating solar positions with an Arduino
Uno. Despite the limited precision of its real number (floating point) arithmetic, the Arduino calculations
of solar elevation and azimuth as a function of location, date, and time agree to within less
than 0.002° with calculations
done in Excel, an application which supports "double precision" floating point arithmetic. The equations are
taken from Jean Meeus' classic book, Astronomical Algorithms. The calculations could be used to control
a two-axis solar tracker with an appropriate stepper motor and gearing arrangement. A text file containing the
code is HERE.
Arduino Uno and Solar Position Calculations by David R. Brooks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Here is a link to David Brooks' new document, Arduino-Based Dataloggers: Hardware and Software.
This document shows how to build and program a four-channel 16-bit datalogger based on an Arduino microcontroller.
This datalogger is suitable for use with IESRE and other sensors, including some commercial pyranometers which
have a smaller voltage output than IESRE pyranometers. This logger also makes it possible to do a better job of monitoring
surface reflectance from dark surfaces with IESRE pyranometers used in pairs as upward- and downward-facing radiometers.
Data files are stored on an SD card. The cost of this project is roughly $75, which is much less than the cost of
commercial loggers with comparable resolution. This is Version 1.0 of this document, which undoubtedly
will be revised, corrected, and updated. However, this version
has been put online in response to a lot of recent interest in such a project. As always,
your comments, suggestions, and questions are welcome!
A link to all the sketches listed in this document is available HERE.
Arduino-Based Dataloggers: Hardware and Software by David R. Brooks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
See our News link for information about a NASA Technical Memorandum which assesses an inexpensive
method for measuring total column water vapor based on a 2011 paper by Mims, Chambers, and Brooks. Links to the original BAMS paper
and the NASA Technical Memorandum are provided. These measurements are ideal for student research projects.
Here is a link to a web page
that shows how to create a .kml file that
will display the location of all of NOAA's Climate Reference Network sites on Google Earth's global map. You can "tag" each
site with additional information. This kind of display is a big improvement over using 2-D maps! The web page isn't a tutorial
on the KML "language," which is structured much like HTML, but there is a link to a nice online tutorial. There is also a template
for creating .kml files from Excel. There will be a permanent link to this page under the "How Do I...?" tab.
Find NOAA U.S. Historical Climatology and Climate Reference Network sites near you.
This online application lets you find USHCN and CRN sites within
a specified longitude/latitude box. You can display a list of the sites or generate a .kml file
for displaying the sites on a Google Earth global map.
Student Climate Science Inquiry and Research Projects
David Brooks' new document, Climate Science Inquiry and Research Projects for Students: Earth's Radiative Balance,
is a result of project development carried out during IESRE's
three-year, NASA-funded Climate Science Research for Educators and Students. This document
begins with an an introduction to Earth's radiative balance and using data loggers to collect data.
It then describes projects for measuring total solar radiation at Earth's surface, surface reflectance,
surface and sky thermal radiation, sky photography, and using existing data to examine climate
trends in the U.S. The PDF version of the document can be downloaded
This early version of the document represents a work in progress, but IESRE hopes that students
and teachers will find it helpful as they plan for science fair projects in 2014. Your comments and suggestions
are, as always, welcome.
Student Climate Science Inquiry and Research Projects by David R. Brooks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
2014 UPDATE ON CLIMATE DATA ACCESS APPLICATIONS
A SINGLE WEB PAGE is now available for accessing NOAA's Climate Reference Network data
through the end of 2013, including
additional insolation data and including a clear-sky model; the US Historical Climatology Network; 30-year climate normals (currently 1971-2000
Notes from a Temperate Climate. A site dedicated
to students, teachers, and my friends living in Thailand's tropical climate.
|This graph of barometric pressure recorded during Hurricane Irene in 2011
and "super storm" Sandy in 2013 dramatically illustrates the passage of
these storms through our area. Many sites, including a small airport site near IESRE were
not operational during the height of Sandy. Amazingly, we did not lose electrical
power during either of these storms even though both storms resulted in widespread
power losses – millions of people throughout the northeast lost power
Links to some other useful and interesting material:
PDF versions of Brooks' PowerPoint presentations from June 2012 GLOBE/Europe-Eurasia Annual Meeting, Utrecht, The Netherlands:
• A History of Student Sun Photometry
• Student Pyranometry
• (for information about monitoring surface radiating temperature,
see this link.)
Presentations from the Asia-Pacific Regional GLOBE Learning Expedition, Hua Hin, Thailand, 13-18 November, 2007:
Student Climate Change Research, 2008-09 version (9.4 MB PowerPoint document)
Spreadsheet model for "designing" your own planet
Our Fox Family, 2006
position and the time of solar noon at your coordinates.
Set your watch or clock
accurately. Use the UTC "time zone" to display the internationally accepted time for
reporting scientific data.
Link to current
weather conditions in Pennsylvania (Get other states by changing "pa"
to another two-letter state code.)
Link to weather during past 24 hours at Wings Field, Blue Bell, Montgomery County, PA
Link to an excellent local weather and climate site.
My local weather and forecasts
(Look here for weather during past 24 hours at other places.)
Historical weather data
around the globe
More historical climate data around the globe
Link to satellite overpass predictor
DEP air quality monitoring information for Pennsylvania
Naval Research Lab's Navy Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System Global
Aerosol Model (NAAPS)
NOAA description of
meteorological station model symbols (a interesting example of how to use clickable images)