Determining Seasonal Shifts Through Long Term Monitoring of the Greenness Index with Digital Photography Public

The Picture Post project is environmental monitoring research that utilizes digital photography from octagonal platforms on top of posts for long-term monitoring. One fundamental aspect of the Picture Post project is the greenness index, defined as ratio of the red, green, and blue colors in the image to characterize the relative “greenness” to document seasonal changes over time in forested ecosystems. The initial data from photos at four locations at Penn State Brandywine ( http://sites.psu.edu/picturepost/) all show decreasing levels in the greenness index over 35 weeks, from May 2014 to February 2015. This decrease is expected because of seasonal variations in our geographic location. A remaining question for long-term investigation is if the timing of changing greenness levels will shift to indicate an earlier or later spring or fall season. This will also capture a changing climate as evidenced through these digital photographs on campus. Continual analysis of the greenness index will be compared with supplemental temperature and precipitation data. This project will continue to provide opportunities for students and citizen contributions to the network and is publicly posted for others to investigate the changing campus environment.

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