Thursday, February 28, 2008

I took a few pictures of my sites and instruments as I did my daily site visits.

This is a picture of the Shell Cut air monitoring station with my district vehicle in front. On top of the tower are the meteorological instruments while the shelter houses the PM-10 (Particulate Matter less than ten microns, i.e. dust) monitoring instrument along with the datalogger.

The meteorological instrument known as an anemometer measures wind speed and direction. It's the propeller and vain deal on top of the tower. There is a temperature probe up there too.

PM-10 is measured with an instrument called the TEOM (Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance). Air is pulled through the inlet which sorts out the particles larger than ten microns and then down through a small filter which oscillates with a specific amount of energy. The frequency of the oscillation diminishes as the filter loads with PM-10 and the change in frequency is used to determine the mass accumulated on the filter. Here's a picture of the inlet.

The site is named Shell Cut becaue there is a small wash nearby which cuts through a soil layer thick with shells. Here's a couple of pics.

That's all for today. Talk to you tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Job

I thought I would take some time to let you know what my job is all about.

I work at Owens Lake. This large, saline lake dried up in the early 1900s as a result of water diversions to the City of Los Angeles. The exposed lake surface has been the source of huge dust storms ever since. I work for the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (a real mouthful!) which monitors the air quality at Owens Lake and directs the City of L.A.'s dust mitigation efforts. Here's a link to Great Basin's website

My job is to maintain air monitoring and meteorological equipment at four sites near the historic shoreline of Owens Lake. My sites are Dirty Socks, Shell Cut, Flat Rock, and Lizard Tail (not yet on the website). Most of the time the instruments run trouble free, but require frequent maintenance and calibration.

Tomorrow I will post some pics and talk a little more about the instruments.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Don't know where this will go or how well I'll keep up, but I thought it would be a nice way for my family, friends, and detractors to keep up with my doings.