Heat Wave in Philadelphia Brings Rise in Ozone

Towards the end of both last week and this week, Philadelphia has had two heat waves that brought temperatures to the high nineties in Fahrenheit. This caused the plants to droop, which made it necessary to water multiple times each day. In addition to drying out the plants faster and making us sweat as we worked in the garden, the heat wave also caused a spike in ozone levels.   Last Friday, ozone levels peaked at over 100 ppb, which is an unhealthy level. A good level is considered about 55 ppb at maximum. The ozone level has not peaked … Continue reading Heat Wave in Philadelphia Brings Rise in Ozone

Processing Ozone Data

In the past, we wrote about how we had to transfer ozone data we had collected on paper onto the computer. However, processing this data requires more work than simply typing the numbers into the computer program Igor before we can start doing analysis.   While data on foliar damage in our plants was recorded by hand and only needed to be typed in, the data for the amount of ozone in the air was recorded every five minutes by the ozone monitor, and transferred wirelessly to an Excel sheet on a computer indoors. This ozone data could be copy and pasted … Continue reading Processing Ozone Data

Transferring Data from Paper onto the Computer

Once a week over the summer, we collected data on ozone damage for each type of plant we were studying. We have studied coneflowers, snapbeans, and milkweed for the past two summers. Each time, we collected the data on paper charts. In order to graph our results and look at all the data at once, we needed to transfer our data to a computer. We are using a program called Igor Pro to do this. Each number we had written down on paper had to be carefully typed into tables in Igor. The process was repetitive, and took a few … Continue reading Transferring Data from Paper onto the Computer

Monitoring Weather and Ozone

There are two devices in our garden that collect data electronically: an ozone monitor and a weather station. Both devices send data wirelessly to a computer located inside The Franklin Institute. It is then uploaded to the GO3 project global database in real time. The weather station collects data on the temperature, wind speed, wind direction, and amount of rainfall every minute. The ozone monitor measures the number of ozone molecules per billion molecules. The ozone concentration is reported in parts per billion, or ppb, every minute. A small pump pulls air from outside through an inlet into the measurement … Continue reading Monitoring Weather and Ozone

Tagging Plants to Study

One of the main purposes of the ozone garden is to track ozone damage on the plants. To do this, we monitor damage on individual leaves over the course of months. Each season, once our perennials have grown leaves again and our annuals have sprouted, we tie jewelry tags to leaves we want to study. Materials Used for Tagging The number of each leaf is written on the jewelry tag with a permanent marker. A metal tag is tied near the base of each plant we are studying. We wrote the plant IDs on the metal tags by pressing on them … Continue reading Tagging Plants to Study