A ribbon cutting on April 22, 2011 marked the official opening of USU's Environmental Observatory. The event was held in conjunction with Earth Day, which celebrates awareness and appreciation for the environment. The ceremony included talks by Larry Dunn from the National Weather Service, Paul Campbell from Campbell Scientific, Jay Monson from the Logan City council, and Rob Gillies, Director of the Utah Climate Center. "The new Environmental Observatory is a wonderful addition to our campus, providing people from all walks of life a glimpse of the technology and computations behind weather and climate predictions," said Noelle Cockett, dean of the College of Agriculture. I appreciate the efforts of those who have made this observatory a reality."
The observatory is a sophisticated solar-powered weather station and is the first of its kind in the state of Utah. It precisely measures 22 separate weather components, including carbon dioxide in the air. Measurements include a state-of-the-art atmospheric visibility sensor, which measures the clarity of the air in Cache Valley. Campbell Scientific, a local instrumentation company, generously provided much of the technology necessary to make these measurements.
"This project has required the combined effort of faculty and students over several years. We are honored to have the opportunity to assemble cutting edge technology to create an elegant environmental sculpture that may become a tourist destination for Cache Valley." said Bruce Bugbee, the faculty member who coordinated the project.
[Excerpted from a press release by Skyler Di Stefano, College of Agriculture Public Relations]