Monday, January 31, 2011

C-111 EnviroSCAN installation – Part II: installing in the field

Once all the equipment was prepared for installation, the Water Resource Engineering team, with special guests Bruce, Daisy and visiting scientist Tereza, set out for the field portion of the C-111 soil water sensor probe install. The install consists of three phases.

Phase I: the dirty dirty
The dirty portion of the installation involves drilling holes for the access tubes that encase the soil water sensor probes and then properly cementing the tubes in place.

Under different circumstances, holes for these probes can be achieved with a simple core tool, and the tubes are then fixed in place with a soil slurry.

In South Florida’s rocky terrain, however, a drill and fine cement is the preferred method.

Once the tubes were cemented in place, exposed portions were painted and existing protective barriers surrounding research equipment were adjusted to encompass the new probe locations.

Phase II: the clean
The clean portion of the installation takes place once the access tubes are fixed in place. Soil water sensor probe head units (power source) are mounted, probes are inserted into access tubes and wired and then launched to begin data collection.

Phase III: establishment
Although structural problems in the probe installation (air pockets, etc.) sometimes present themselves months after installation, basic weaknesses in the drilling and cementing process can be readily identified once data collection begins. Where data inconsistencies are apparent and irreconcilable, the installation process must be repeated from the beginning.

Isaya would like to thank the following people for their help during the new EnviroSCAN installation at C-111 on January 20, 2011.

Dr .Kati W. Migliaccio: Thank you very much for the exceptional guidance and support
Dr. Bruce Schaffer: Thank you for providing the knowledge, skill and as well as your experience during the installation
Michael Gutierrez: Thank you teaching me from scratch about EviroScans from assembly, configuration, installation and downloading
Tina Dispenza: Thank you for your support and guidance. Your experience will make the difference on this project
Tereza P. Cristina: Thank you for taking off time from your busy schedule to help with the installation of the EnviroScan. Having extra hands made the job much easier.
Chunfang Li (Daisy): Thank you very much for all the support you have given to the C-111 project from downloading of data to installations.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Hi! I have just join the blog and I like it!

Monday, January 24, 2011

C-111 EnviroSCAN installation - Part I: the preparation

Isaya returns

PhD candidate Isaya Kisekka returned to Homestead this month to rejoin the Water Resource Engineering team following a study sojourn in Gainesville.

Soon after arriving, he set about tending to some monumental tasks around the C-111 Project – namely, training on research equipment to eventually take the lead on data downloading and management, and coordinating the installation of additional EnviroSCAN soil water content probes at several project sites.

EnviroSCAN probes

In preparation for the C-111 installation, three soil water content probes were assembled to install at two research sites along the C-111 canal. There are several steps involved in preparing probes for field installation.

A. Probe assembly
This step involves assembling probes based on the soil depths that will be monitored. For C-111, the depths are 10, 20, 30 & 40 cm.

B. Access tube assembly
This step focuses on the shells that encase the probes in the field – measuring, cutting, gluing and filing them down.

Note that unlike last summer’s probes, these probes are intentionally oversized - monitoring the same depths, but designed specifically for research sites known to flood during South Florida’s rainy season.

C. Probe configuration
The final probe preparation step is the configuration process. During this step the probe is named, sensors are assigned depths, and high (air) and low (water) sensor measurement points are established.

Next step: installation!

Monday, January 17, 2011

From sprays to rotaries - a new micro-video!

I recently produced a micro-video for Miami-Dade Extension’s Urban Conservation Unit. This is the first video formally in service of the 2011 Water-Use Efficiency Program.

One of the many recommendations we make to homeowners (and homeowner associations) interested in increasing irrigation efficiency is to retrofit spray head sprinklers on their system with rotary (or rotator) nozzles. Spray heads apply large amounts of water in a very short time and are susceptible to wind drift. Rotary heads apply water more slowly and in stronger streams that resist wind.

Since many urban landscape irrigation systems in South Florida not only feature zones with mixed heads (sprays alongside the even slower applying rotor head)...

...but also use spray heads to irrigate low-maintenance shrubs, enhancing existing spray heads with rotary (or rotator) nozzles is an easy and effective retrofit – and entirely rebateable through this year’s rebate-centered program.

This video is the result of a property's invitation to me to retrofit all the spray heads on its system. I call it a micro-video because it was filmed and edited entirely on an iPod Touch 4G and features only me.

View the video here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Water Resource Engineering Team featured in UF ABE newsletter!

Five of our modest group here at TREC garnered mentions in this month’s UF Agricultural and Biological Engineering newsletter!

The accomplishments and awards section (p. 10) lists none other than Dr. Nicholas Kiggundu and PhD candidate Isaya Kisekka for honors they each earned last year. Also included, our fearless leader, Dr. Kati Migliaccio, holds down center-page in recognition of her recent award.

Last summer’s REU student all-stars, Kevin Koryoto and Liliana Zepeda, are also prominently pictured in the publication (p. 6). As part of the program's inaugural class, their diligent efforts while gracing us in Homestead contributed to the success of ABE's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU).

And although I did not garner any mention, one of my snazzy photographs of the luminous Ms. Zepeda does make several appearances (cover thumbnail)!

To read the newsletter, click here. Congratulations everyone!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Group meeting for Homestead peeps

Remember that Tuesday Jan 11th there will be a group meeting for those in Homestead. Please bring paper for taking notes and a calendar. Thanks!