Living Shoreline- Week 5

Week 5


This week’s summary?

‘And just as everything started to work like a well oiled machine, a cog broke,’.

The cameras are malfunctioning.

Well, not the cameras per se- it could be the cameras, the drivers, the batteries, or any of the cords connecting the three. On a good day, we’re getting 5/6 or 6/6 of the recordings from each one of the 10-12 cameras we set out to record. However, some cameras have been performing at less than 100% to say the least. Some show up blank, some only having recorded 2/6 or 4/6 clips, and some remain functioning. The confusing part is that each day the cameras that function and those that malfunction seem to shuffle, even though each labeled component (camera, driver, battery, and cords) remains in the same case. The most likely issue lies in the drivers, little programmable weatherproofed chips that toggle the cameras on and off at programmed times. We contacted the lead engineer of the company which produces these chips, who suggested we install a firmware update. In the lab, under controlled settings, it worked; all but one recorded perfectly. In the field, however, we ran into the same issue of sporadic error. It’s still unclear what the issue is, as the error logs of the drivers report no real issue with temperature, and error messages are all pretty inconclusive. Hopefully, we’ll get a resolution soon.


Analysis took a forefront this week as a result. I watched hours of footage and noted what birds appeared where, coded their behaviors and recorded atmospheric conditions to be further analyzed at a later date. Though disappointing, the trouble-shooting process was interesting and valuable, as something is always bound to go wrong in any setting of life. It’s just a bit frustrating that as soon as we really start getting into the swing of things, rarely hitting speed bumps, with me rarely having to ask questions on procedure or to have help with an identification, that the cornerstone of our project starts to act strangely. I’m sure we’ll figure it out soon.

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