Public Lab Wiki documentation

Northeast Barnraising 2014

This is a revision from June 07, 2014 20:13. View all revisions
5 | 40 | | #10466


What is a Public Lab Barnraising?

Public Lab Barnraisings are the closest thing we have to a Public Lab conference -- but with an emphasis on "doing stuff together" rather than just presenting/talking. In the spirit of bringing a community together to collectively raise a structure such as a barn, Public Lab comes together to develop tools, toolkits, supporting materials such as guides and tutorials, test the tools and develop new research directions and projects. Participants represent a wide range of interests from technologists and designers to social """scientists""" and community organizers. The annual Fall Barnraising is held in Louisiana each year. In 2014, we’ve introducing a second Spring Barnraising into our event schedule. The Spring Barnraisings will be in different locations each year and focus on specific environmental issues or tool development projects.

What is the 2014 Tool-focused Barnraising?

The 2014 tool-focused Barnraising is a regional version of a Public Lab Barnraising and this year will be held in Massachusetts. We are planning a 2-night / 3-day conference for 25-30 individuals from Public Lab’s existing Northeast community, including representatives from five (5) local environmental justice organizations that are interested in incorporating community science into their programs. Together, we will engage in research and tool development around environmental justice issues of water quality. In particular, we will refine our sampling protocols for identifying oil in water using DIY spectroscopy, and defining thermal plumes from power plants with temperature sensors. Aerial mapping may play a supporting role in testing these approaches to water quality research.

RSVP and join the mailing list in the left-hand column!

Important information

Information about Barnraising is located on this wiki page as well as in several google spreadsheets, docs, and pads--find all links gathered here:

Planning Committees

If you are attending, please sign up for one or more committees!


We're looking for 2-3 volunteers to take the lead on our Food Committee, or more popularly known as FOODCOM. The main goal of FOODCOM is to organize a menu, prepare a shopping list and make sure there are leads for each meal. Additionally, it may include asking local grocery stores for donations. If the ask part of FOODCOM is scary to you, but the rest isn't, don't let that hold you back from volunteering! We need your help. If you're interested and want to find out more, please let me know -- I'd like to find a time for us to talk this week.

On the topic of food: To help cover the cost of meals, we're asking everyone to donate $10 per day of attendance, or $20 for the whole weekend. On Friday night we'll be attending a potluck hosted by Jones River Watershed and on Saturday we'll be attending a BBQ hosted by Tidmarsh Farm. However, we plan to feed all the attendees breakfast, lunch and brain snacks on Saturday and Sunday -- the $10/day will help cover that plus Public Lab's contributions to the potluck and BBQ. Please pre-pay here: When you make your donation enter “Northeast Barnraising 2014” in the memo. If you have any specific questions about this, please let me know.


  • (unwinding, downtime)



  • (tweeting, documenting, reporting out to the online audience as things happen)

Media sharing Lots of people will be taking photos, shared articles/readings, etc. Let's aggregate them here, just edit this page and paste in the link below! Flickr tags: "publiclaboratory" and "NEbarnraising2014". Please remember to share as Creative Commons Attribution at least. We can also host large amounts of files, just contact



  • Carpool drivers, especially needed from Boston. This COM will help coordinate rides from MBTA station and from car-pool departure locations, as well as pick up folks who are arriving at non-standard times.

  • Sean McGinnis from Philly has up to three more seats

  • Liz Barry from Manhattan, driving rental van with up to 9 seats
  • Jen Hudon and other Massachusetts drivers coordinating carpools
  • full schedule spreadsheet here


  • Jen + Don. This COM will will collate ideas for sessions (add yours below) and create the schedule grid. There will also be a couple of open sessions for unconference-style organizing.

For more information, check out Tab 1/Calendar on our planning Google Doc.

Session Ideas

If you are attending, please add your session ideas.

  • Open Water Research
  • Import Grassroots Mapping Imagery & Edit in OSM with OSM Boston Meetup
  • Meet & Greet the Locals of Plymouth, MA
  • recently added and proposed barnstars!

Things to Pack

  • Sunscreen & Bug Repellent
  • Sleeping Bag & Pillow
  • Boots / Wellies
  • Flotation Life Vest (if you own one)
  • Towel
  • flip flops (shoes not allowed indoors)
  • your favorite snacks

Tidmarsh Farm

House Rules: GoogleDoc

Address: 139 Bartlett Road (same at 137 Bartlett Road), Plymouth, MA 02360.

The industrial barn.


The guest house.


The campsite.


Jones River Landing

Address: 55 Landing Road Kingston, MA 02364