Hand-Made Stream Sensor Networks: Open Hydrological Sensor Technologies and HydroShare - August 19 - 21, 2020

Location: Oregon State University, OPEnS Lab - Corvallis, Oregon

Dr. Julia Jones / Oregon State University, Professor - Geography, Environmental Sciences, and Marine Resource Management
Alicia Veach / OPEnS Lab
Chet Udell / OPEnS Lab
Martin Escoto / OPEnS Lab
Majdi Najim / UC Davis


Some of the key barriers to entry for starting your own stream sensor network is the cost, learning curve, and uncertainty that the devices you make will produce accurate and reliable data. This class will provide participants with hands-on activities at the OPEnS Lab (Openly Published Environmental Sensing Lab) at Oregon State University and in a field setting to empower researchers with little to no technical background in starting their very own stream sensor networks. 

This workshop will provide participants with background on off-the-shelf components that can serve as effective alternatives to expensive industry standard water sensors, and benefit from the experience of the OPEnS Lab in building, calibrating, and fact-checking hand-made data loggers. 

Each participant will be supplied with a Smart Rock Kit that they assemble and learn how to use. The Smart Rock is a low-cost (~$300) submersible sensor suite that monitors and logs water depth, temperature, turbidity, pH, and salinity (EC) that is designed to be built by anyone with or without extensive experience in electronics 

For more information on these sensors and the OPEnS Lab, see their website, and GitHub pages. 

The cost of these sensors will be included in the workshop registration cost. 


Laptop computer with MAC OS X or Windows. 

Learning Objectives: 

  • Learn how to assemble open-source hydrological sensor and logging platforms for hydrologic and water quality data collection. 
  • Gain skills for editing code to configure sensors, actuators, and wireless communication systems using the OPEnS Smart Rock and Loom sensor kit platforms. 
  • Learn industry standard as well as how to make your own customized sensors. 
  • Learn techniques for building waterproof housings for electronics and deployment in aquatic environments. 
  • Learn how to troubleshoot sensor deployments and solve common problems. 
  • Practice calibrating and validating sensor data. 
  • Practice using web-based data management and logging tools, including www.hydroshare.org.