March 31, 2003

California State Parks Distance Interpretation Program Collaborates with HPWREN for Remote Interactive Presentations

Last week, teachers from around the country paid a "remote" visit to the Anza-Borrego State Park. The teachers, who were attending the National Teacher Training Institute (NTTI) Conference in Irvine, participated in an underwater tour of Crystal Cove State Park and examined fossilized oyster beds in nearby Fish Creek - while sitting in a conference room in Irvine about 100 miles away.

The HPWREN team assisted the California State Parks with the remote interactive presentations by providing the high-speed connectivity. "We set up a four-foot antenna on a tripod at Fish Creek, and used 45 Megabits-per-second to connect to an HPWREN backbone site on Mount Laguna - thanks to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department," explained HPWREN PI Hans-Werner Braun. "From the Sheriff's facility at Mount Laguna, our link shoots to the Cuyamaca mountains, onto Mount Woodson, and finally to the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD."

Click on the above thumbnail image for larger version.

Additionally, a San Diego State University team comprised of geology graduate students deployed a local multi-megabit per second wireless network that extended the connectivity a mile or so futher into the desert from the Fish Creek Base camp. This LAN involved multiple sites, high resolution and video cameras, as well as assorted environmental sensors.

"The high-speed wireless link provided by HPWREN can provide students in California with access to an extraordinary park resource that school buses simply can't get to," said Alan Friedman, Chief Information Officer for the California Department of Parks and Recreation in Sacramento. L. Louise Jee, GIS specialist at the Anza-Borrego State Park head quarters adds that "the possibilities of remote wildlife monitoring in this large park no longer seem so impossible to dream about."

Next month, the remote presentations will be repeated for participants at the George Wright Society Cultural Resources 2003 Joint Conference. This upcoming conference, which is entitled "Protecting Our Diverse Heritage: The Role of Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites", will take place at a conference center located in coastal San Diego (about 60 miles from the site of the Anza-Borrego presentations). The Cultural Resources 2003 is an interdisciplinary effort by the George Wright Society and the National Park Service.

Additional photographs regarding the event are located at /Photos/20030321/ and /Photos/20030322/.

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