What's on the roof of Agronomy Hall?

September 23, 2019

Have you ever walked by agronomy hall and looked up and noticed some strange equipment on the roof? It isn't for decoration and it isn't top secret.

The roof houses several weather stations and labs. "The actual answer is the roof contains two automated weather stations that take data at one-minute intervals. The variables measured are temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, wind speed, wind direction, mean sea-level pressure, solar radiation, and UV index," Associate Teaching Professor Dave Flory said.

Data from the weather stations is both stored and made available through the Department of Agronomy's Iowa Environmental Mesonet. The following link makes data available to students and anyone interested in what's going on outside: https://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/other/

In addition to the automated weather stations, the roof also houses the meteorology program's instrumentation laboratory.

"Several classes use the platform to teach weather station setup and the programming of data loggers," Flory said. "From time to time you will also find an evaporation pan and other instruments related to student projects."

The instrumentation lab is also being used by the Department of Physics for their astronomy classes because the roof of Zaffarano Hall is currently under construction. Flory also explained that several telescopes are stored in the penthouses that are used for nighttime astronomy classes.

Agronomy hall is full of a variety of technology that is applicable to many programs and individuals both on campus and in the state.