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.
FACTS is an ongoing project developed to forecast and evaluate real-time soil-crop dynamics in specific ISU fields. Predictions and measurements will be frequently updated as new information becomes available during the growing season.
by Ellen Bombella, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service
Sotirios Archontoulis' curiosity about crops, soil and weather started at a very young age when he was growing up in Greece. He remembers going to the fields with his father, who was a farmer, in the heat of the afternoon to see if the crops needed watered.
"I thought to myself, there has to be a better way than this," Archontoulis said. "I was motivated to pursue agronomy because the farmers had to make important decisions without help."