The Urban Natural Resources Institute (UNRI) is performing research to investigate how trees in urban areas affect the physical environment; air temperature, wind, humidity, solar and thermal radiation. They are also studying the subsequent effects that changes in the physical environment have on health and happiness of the community, temperatures in soil and streams, energy usage for heating and cooling and outdoor sound production.
The Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), as part of the National Science Foundation’s Long-term Ecological Research Network (LTER), researches the city of Baltimore as an ecological system, collecting data on biological, physical and social aspects. UNRI scientists are the principal researchers on this study, directing the collection and analysis of meteorological data.
The large quantity of variables being studied sets BES’s research station apart. The variables include all requirements to meet LTER Climate Committee Standards for Level 3 Meteorology: air temperature and humidity, precipitation, wind speed and direction, total solar radiation, incoming and reflected photosynthetically active radiation, atmospheric pressure, soil temperature at 2 depths, net all-wave radiation, soil heat flux and volumetric soil pressure. For the majority of the variables, hourly averages, maximums and minimums are measured and recorded hourly. The research station is located in a fairly open location, in a pasture field.
For more information and the detaile scope of meterological research for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, visit http://www.beslter.org/index.html. Or find out more about the Syracuse Research Unit at http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/units/urban/ for information about energy conservation research being currently conducted.