My first three days: Already in the field twice!

I arrived for my first day this past Wednesday and spent it getting familiar with the main instruments of ARTEMIS: the NOx and O3 monitors and their calibration units. Much of my day was spent learning how to operate them, calibrate them, and download the calibration data to make sure the trends in the short and long line data matched. Despite some initial frustrations of the NOx not logging and me accidentally deleting some data, they did! A day well spent, as ARTEMIS was planned to begin her summer journey the following day.

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The following morning was spent preparing and packing the trailer and van. It took a couple hours – we needed to make sure we had everything to properly set ARTEMIS up for the next 5 months. Upon arriving to Adams Farm we met Helen and Ed, who were such gracious hosts and people (and offered us homemade banana ice cream at the end of the day!). Meeting them really ignited this project’s importance for me. I listened to their very valid concerns about this nearby mining site (where apparently besides the whole fracking aspect, they dug so close to their property line that it threatened erosion on their plots, AND the pit was being used as a monster truck arena – imagine all that diesel in the air along with the dust plumes), and needless to say, I became personally attached to helping these people to my best ability.

ARTEMIS was tractor-ed out to her spot about a half mile into the field, and almost as soon as we began preparing the instruments – the O3 monitor chord accidentally touched the battery terminal, shorted, and broke the chord. First small disaster of the trip! It meant that we had to come into the field the next day to fix it (even though looking back, we could have probably fixed it then). We set up the tower, kestrel, and NOx machine, and let it run overnight before coming back the next day.

That next day we basically collected what data we had, crimped the O3 wire back to normal, and re-set everything up. It was a lot to take in my first couple of days, but I am now very excited to see what kind of data we get, and to go back to the farm to keep tending to ARTEMIS.

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