Public Lab Wiki documentation

The Barnraiser

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The Barnraiser is a 1-page daily "newspaper" we're publishing during the PL Barnraising as part of the Documentation Committee (DocCom). We see it as a lighthearted (but hard-hitting journalistic) way to summarize and share in a succinct, low-burden, but regular way, what's going on at our busiest and most productive event of the year!

Recruiting reporters & editors

Email and/or to become a reporter or editor! Despite limited page space, we're happy for any help we can get!



We'll use the talk page of this wiki page as a (chaotic) staging area to collect material and links over the course of each day. Please dump content there with your name.

We're planning on doing a digital layout using Google Drawings (for now), and the template is here. Please make a copy of the template and paste the link in here for each issue:

  • Issue 1:


Current reporters include @marlokeno, @patcoyle and @kanarinka.


Logos, graphics: barnraiser.svg and barnraiser.png


Feel free to upload photos here for upcoming issues; click "edit" and drag and drop them in:





After activities, the suggestion was to move onto actionable outcomes reports, victories.

@lizbarry: GLAMstuff: Gowanus bacterial reporting led to expansion of Superfund scope and area.

Also, "dead body" park resulting in actions to reduce sewage release into canal. Interesting twist on advocacy.

Gretchen: aerial imagery revealed violations like washing vehicle with runoff into canal, led to legal actions which curtailed activities.

Mathew noted conference where people used Google Street view to find and report violations and lawsuits with results.

Stevie noted dust and sand mine visibility on what is not working

Mathew noted may need to consider shift in focus to what can monitor with more actionable outcome vs other aspects

Liz noted bucket monitoring with big win. Certain samples can bring big results in getting funding and regulatory movement.

Likewise at nuclear reactor, thermal water monitoring as part of broader concerns.

Nick: in formaldehyde monitoring useful to ask regulators what is of most interest to them so can focus on those stories. Also Gretchen noted from Wisconsin trip, regulator suggested take photo of, for example, dirty water, it can be enough to get them to initiate actions (time stamped and geoloacated) are good evidence.

Jeff suggested make list of examples:

Gretchen also thought of cameras actuated when sensors detect spike. Liz noted also by other project team.

Don Blair noted in Columbia, re: mining pollution concerns, folks thought if could set up monitors that could increase visibility.

Mathew noted re: sand mining, even with poor sensors and suggestive data put pressure on regulators to make company install better sensors, although installed on upwind side of facility.

Gretchen is POC to get these stories shared.

Points from earlier in the day to go in the feed are as follows:

Where does your food come from question

Whatever the name of the store is. Ha ha. Well yes but think of all the work

Coffee log lessons learned

Small kites

Then out of the break room and into the the multipurpose room we opened with the icebreaker leading and falling apart near with her eyes closed and open just touching fingers

Then the world map exercise

Also we overview of the program in the agenda for the day

We started with stories of organizers, starting with newest, pathway in, issues encountered.

Phil spoke to his experience. Hearing Mathew et al at conference, then with Don Blair event, then on in.

Matt, specific project, with structure, goals.

VJ, mapping event, then following list, wanting to mobilize in Brazil

Liz, saw Jeff demo flying balloon or kite- so public demo and knowing someone

Dan, BP oil spill, learned of the balloon mapping, connecting by email, taking it from there.

Benjamin, saw demo, then in Chicago wanted to connect with communities, got help from kits phone call, texts from Jeff and Mathew- that personal connection really drew him in.

Voice as first contact powerful per Liz.

Katherine (?), part of a show with Jeff and book, S Wylie connection as well, class, mapping w Jeff,coming at it from art and jeff's willingness to come help, then to a Barnraising, interested in participatory data, met Don Blair. Liz asked what made PL a place can work? Finding a way to get past not having science background, but place to tell env stories.

Jeff: during the BP spill, do many people connecting via the grassroots mapping list, a wild ride. But very special that the Grassroots mapping list was place could share, etc.

Gretchen joined staff. Learned of PL via environmental leadership program, connections to PL

Braunwen(sp), via a workshop with Liz et al, from library studies, also easy to step into groups with the people

Don, met Pablo at Occupy hackathon, then on into PL list, met @ cfastie

Tony, looking for Tyvek kites, met Mathew, had kite in car, saw opening Mathew spoke toTony's background w DYI

ML long running joke in sketchbooks, will just make this inflatable sculpture, then balloons, then connected via friends to Jeff, then BP spill, then mailing strange parts to New Orleans, in2010 Helped start PL

Cindy, Shanon and S Wylie came to citizen Science event in UK, connected w them and her background, started project in London, later with Matt et al workshops, continued

Stevie, duringBP spill, was no way to work on it

Yuez, wife's role in spectroscopy, Pitcom conference, jeff's talk by another guy, heard it, then networking session on uses of spectroscopy, olive oil application for detecting food fraud, others dismissed idea, so he took it on presented at next Pitcom, NE barn raiser

Ann, in grad school, resonated with her interests, met Liz, interested in the community, at Cusp, kept connecting with PL, Don and Will, came did workshop, applied for grant,wanted to use tools, came to Gowanus event, atSSW, met Jeff,

I did me

Did post its w how to bring in more organizers