Science How-Tos

Science is hard! A little know-how can go a long way.

Studiously put together by my dear friend Laureano Gherardi, here is a how-to guide for building passive rainfall exclusion shelters for ecological research. Learn more about Lau and his amazing research at his website: http://laugherardi.org/

Deep soil moisture and temperature sensor installation

Most of the data scientists collect is about surface soil layers (<30 cm). We wanted to collect data at a depth of 50cm without damaging experimental plots. Here are a few snapshots and pointers from that experience.

Some tools you will need- a small pvc pipe with a light and a tamping rod.
The tripod used to bore into the ground at a 45 degree angle. The soil bucket auger is a common tool in many labs, but the tripod was custom fabricated for applications like this one. The white tray is used to collect soil from the auger as the hole deepens.
A side view of the auger and stand installing a deep sensor at the plots.
Once the hole is deep enough, I threaded the communications cable through the PVC pipe and inserted the sensor into the new hole.
The light is incredibly helpful for keeping good sensor orientation and observing what is going on in the hole during installation.
A silly photo showing how the PVC can help as a sensor installation stick.
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