Greetings everyone! On behalf of the entire Atmospheric Sciences Dept. at UND, thank you for visiting our crowdfunding page. Since the 1970s, scientists and students at UND have been observing the weather. The atmosphere impacts all of us, and from tornadoes to blizzards, North Dakota gets to experience the extremes of weather. With a curriculum that focuses on hands-on interactions with observations and data, the weather outside often is the best learning tool! In the 2000s, the Regional Weather Information Center on campus operated the Skycam, providing 24/7 coverage of weather. Operated with spare parts and run with no budget, the Skycam served the University well for almost a decade before its demise in 2008. Some examples of images captured from this camera can be seen above.
The purpose of this crowdfunding campaign is to raise funds for the next generation skycam. Since the original camera, technology has come a long way. With your generous contributions, we will purchase a high-definition network camera that has both pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities. Mounted on top of Odegard Hall on the west side of campus, we’ll be able to watch whatever Mother Nature throws at us. While this camera will be used within our department to understand and demonstrate atmospheric concepts and for our UND Weather update shows, the best part is this camera will be broadcast online, 24-7, to all of you!
So whether you’re a student who studied too late and simply want to know what the weather is before rolling out of bed, or a parent just checking in see what conditions are like on campus, the Skycam will be there for all of us. We greatly appreciate any donations you can make!
Budget and Timeline
To fund this campaign, we are budgeting $8000. This includes $4400 for an Axis Q8685-E PTZ Network Camera and $600 for a network storage device to save footage. Based on a quote from UND Facilities, $2300 is budgeted to install the camera on top of Odegard Hall. This includes the physical install of the unit, running appropriate power, and connecting it via fiber to UND’s network. The remaining budget covers the associated fees with running this campaign.
Given that we are well into the middle of a North Dakota winter, our campaign will utilize this period to raise money from January to March. Pending successful completion of the project, our goal is to install and have the camera operational by the end of the spring semester. This will time nicely with the beginning of our thunderstorm season! Just last year, a landspout tornado was visible from the west side of campus.
Aaron Kennedy [aaron.kennedy@UND.edu]is an Assistant Professor within the Atmospheric Sciences Dept. He was the first PhD graduate from the program in 2011, and researches topics ranging from extreme weather events to climate. Within the classroom, Aaron stresses the inclusion of real-world observations in the classroom. This includes having students photograph and explain various meteorological phenomena via Pinterest boards in ATSC353- Physical Meteorology. Aaron will incorporate time-lapse footage from the Skycam to demonstrate atmospheric concepts within his classes. Aaron is assisted in this project by students Kaela Lucke and Max Mueller who have assisted with media production and promotional activities.
Kaela Lucke is a senior in Atmospheric Sciences at UND. Her passions have always been weather and television. She is currently an anchor for UND Weather Update and a Brand Marketing Journalist at the UND TV Center. She has interned at KVLY news, and loves storm chasing. After graduation, Kaela plans to attend graduate school and then become a broadcast meteorologist to share her passion for weather and climate to the community.
Max Mueller is also a senior in Atmospheric Sciences. While he grew up terrified of thunderstorms, he now spends thousands of miles in a car every year with the hopes of seeing tornadoes. An avid photographer and videographer, Max recently released a documentary titled “Storm Experience” documenting his time in ATSC 499. He also participates in UND Weather Update. You can follow Max’s storm chase and photography escapades at: https://twitter.com/justmaxmueller