Climate Station Installation
Climate station sensors are mounted to a 20ft tower embedded in concrete. Since many of the sites are located in backcountry settings, almost all the construction was done by hand.
The first step in raising the tower is to dig a hole. This is fairly easy in the fine river/lake sediments of Cache Valley, but is much more challenging when the subsurface consists of glacially deposited boulders as is the case at many mountain sites.
The concrete base is then mixed by hand in wheelbarrows. In some cases both dry concrete and water needed to be packed into the sites. At Knowlton Fork in Red Butte Creek, about 20 graduate student, undergraduates, and postdoctoral associates were recruited to do the heavy lifting.
Before the concrete is added to the hole, the tower is assembled, hoisted into place, and secured using guy lines.
Once the concrete has hardened, the sensors are attached to the tower at various levels on crossarms. An enclosure is attached to the base of the tower and securely houses the datalogger (station computer) and battery.
Finally, the sensors are connected to the datalogger. Typically, the sensors output a voltage. The datalogger measures the voltage and converts it to an environmental observation.